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grind to a halt

Also, come to a grinding halt. Gradually come to a standstill or end. For example, Once the funding stopped, the refurbishing project ground to a halt, or She's come to a grinding halt with that book she's writing. This expression alludes to a clogged engine that gradually stops or a ship that runs aground.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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