Definition of stop short in US English:

stop short

(also stop someone short)

phrase

  • Stop (or cause to stop) suddenly or abruptly.

    ‘she began to speak, but stopped short at the look on the other woman's face’
    ‘I was about to reply with a sarcastic remark when a thought stopped me short’
    • ‘Casey stopped short at the sight of the other five training agents, staring at her with questions.’
    • ‘She looked like she might have a hangover, but she stopped short at the sight of Faith.’
    • ‘She stopped short at the sight of Tyler and a smile spread across her lips.’