What does the idiom "come to a standstill" mean?

come to a standstill is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression come to a standstill is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "come to a standstill"

Meaning

The idiom “come to a standstill” is used to describe a situation in which progress or activity halts, stops or slows down significantly. It is used when describing any type of progression, from physical movement to the advancement of a project or plan.

Etymology

The phrase “come to a standstill” has been in use since at least the 16th century. The phrase “standstill” can be traced back to the Middle English word “standstille”, which means “silence” or “cessation of motion”. The phrase “come to a standstill” conjures images of something steadily progressing, only to suddenly freeze and stop abruptly.

Usage

The idiom “come to a standstill” is used to describe a situation in which activity or progression has ceased abruptly or slowed down significantly. It is used when discussing any type of progress, be it physical movement or project advancement. It may be used to describe both positive and negative scenarios. For example, it could be used to describe an unexpected positive outcome, such as when a traffic jam comes to a standstill and drivers get to their destinations quickly, or a negative scenario, such as when a project is delayed and comes to a standstill.

Example Sentences

  • “The project came to a standstill when funding was suddenly cut.”
  • “The traffic came to a standstill after the accident.”
  • “The negotiations came to a standstill when both sides could not agree on a compromise.”
  • “The campaign came to a standstill when the candidate dropped out of the race.”

The meanings of the words in the "come to a standstill" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.

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