1. to put reins on or put a stop to an idea or behaviour early on
nip it in the bud straight away
To 'nip something in the bud' means to suppress an idea or behaviour or to stop something from happening early on in the process. If you 'nip something in the bud' you stop something early-on in order to prevent negative effects later on. This is an idiomatic expression that can be used in a variety of contexts, social or professional.