nip in the bud

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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈnɪp.ɪn.ðəˈbʌd/
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nip (something) in the bud

  1. To remove a bud from a plant to prevent flower and fruit from forming.
  2. (idiomatic) To stop something at an early stage.
    If you see a bad habit begin to develop, try to nip it in the bud so that it does not become ingrained. Issues are easier to sort out the earlier they are addressed.