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English definition of “nip sth in the bud”

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nip sth in the bud

to stop something before it has an opportunity to become established: Many serious illnesses can be nipped in the bud if they are detected early enough. It's important to nip this kind of bullying in the bud.
(Definition of nip sth in the bud from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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