pull out all the stops

Idioms & Phrases

pull out all the stops

Use all the resources or force at one's disposal, as in The police pulled out all the stops to find the thief. This term comes from organ-playing, where it means "bring into play every rank of pipes," thereby creating the fullest possible sound. It has been used figuratively since about 1860.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: pull out
Next Definition: pull out of a hat
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for pull out all the stops
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing pull out all the stops
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature