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fly in the ointment

Definition of fly in the ointment

  1. :  someone or something that causes problems <We're almost ready to start work. Getting the permit is the only fly in the ointment.>



Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to move in or pass through the air with wings

    :  to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space

    :  to float, wave, or soar in the air

  1. :  the action or process of flying :  flight

    :  a device consisting of two or more radial vanes capable of rotating on a spindle to act as a fan or to govern the speed of clockwork or very light machinery

    :  flywheel

  1. :  to hit a fly in baseball

  1. :  any of a large order (Diptera) of winged or rarely wingless insects (as the housefly, mosquito, or gnat) that have the anterior wings functional, the posterior wings reduced to halteres, and segmented often headless, eyeless, and legless larvae — compare maggot

    :  a large stout-bodied fly

    :  a fishhook dressed (as with feathers or tinsel) to suggest an insect

  1. :  keen, artful

ointmentplay
  1. :  a salve or unguent for application to the skin


Seen and Heard

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