grind to a halt
From windmills. To stop a windmill from turning too quickly, such as during a strong gust of wind, an excess amount of corn would be poured between the grinding stone (top stone) and the nether stone (bottom stone). The extra pressure would cause the stones to slow down or literally "grind to a halt", and thereby stop the windmill from turning.(Can this(+) etymology be sourced?)
- (idiomatic, intransitive, of a productive activity) Coming to a standstill, or ceasing to be productive or make progress, due to an obstacle.
Work on the new high-rise ground to a halt as contractor tried to deal with all the red tape.
After the visionary's death, work on his ideas ground to a halt.