To set the cart before the horse

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To set the cart before the horse to invert the order of related facts or ideas, as by putting an effect for a cause; to do things in an improper order.
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Usage

In literature:

Others set carts before the horses, and began to flay eels at the tail; neither did the eels cry before they were hurt, like those of Melun.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete." by Francois Rabelais
Others set carts before the horses, and began to flay eels at the tail; neither did the eels cry before they were hurt, like those of Melun.
"Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book V." by Francois Rabelais
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