Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical.
call off the dogs To ease up on; to lay off of; to discontinue some disagreeable line of conduct, conversation, inquiry, procedure, or the like. The reference is to hunting; when dogs are on the wrong track, they are called back.
Mexican stand-off A deadlock; a situation or contest in which neither party wins. Exactly what the word Mexican adds to this expression is unclear; most likely it was originally a racial slur. It has been conjectured that American cowboys used Mexican stand-off in referring to conflicts in which one could get away alive without engaging in serious fighting.
peter out To diminish gradually and then cease; to fade, die out, come to an end. In this expression, peter is derived from saltpeter (potassium nitrate), a component of explosives. Miners nicknamed these explosives “peter,” and used them to expose veins of gold or other valuable minerals. When a vein was exhausted and could yield no more ore, it was said to have been “petered out.” Eventually, peter out assumed its figurative meaning and has been in widespread use for more than a century.
Human effort of all kinds tends … to “peter out.” (Saturday Review, January 9, 1892)
stalemate A deadlock, standstill, impasse; a draw or stand-off; circumstances in which no action can be taken. This term originated in chess to describe a situation in which a player cannot make any moves without placing his king in check. As a result, the game ends in a draw, and neither player can claim a victory. Stalemate is derived from the old French estal ‘a fixed position’ and the Middle English mat ‘helpless.’
So far as the public can see, the match [between two armies] ended in stalemate. (Standard, September, 1912)
|Noun||1.||cessation - a stopping; "a cessation of the thunder"|
legal separation, separation - (law) the cessation of cohabitation of man and wife (either by mutual agreement or under a court order)