gum up (something)


: to prevent (something) from working or flowing properly
Don't use that paper with the copier; you'll gum it up.
The highway construction has really gummed up traffic.
The bearings are all gummed up with mud.

Examples of gum up (something) in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Academics point to a growing body of research that shows such contracts keep wages low and gum up labor markets. Julian Mark, Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2023 Biden’s effort could well be slowed if, as widely expected, Republicans take control of the Senate and gum up the confirmation works. Jackie Calmes, The Mercury News, 19 Mar. 2024 Macdonald will try to keep the picture in front of Mahomes confusing, shifting coverages and using Hamilton and Pro Bowl linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen to gum up the middle of the field. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 24 Jan. 2024 In the past, Fox’s defender would be able to hedge off him, knowing Fox wasn’t a lethal 3-point threat like he’s become this year, and gum up the action. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 1 Feb. 2024 As for more accountability, as some skeptical Republicans demand, whatever measures add to our understanding of where money is going are useful; purely pretextual demands meant to gum up the works aren’t. The Editors, National Review, 6 Dec. 2023 So presidents can carry out policy, or gum up the works, without much there to stop them unless the other branches act collectively. Julia Azari, ABC News, 12 Dec. 2023 The initial suit was filed in early 2020, and the defense team—representing the state, Governor Greg Gianforte, and several state agencies—filed a number of petitions and motions over the next few years to try and gum up the process. Molly Taft, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2023 But because of the power that Congress still holds over the District’s budget, any congressman can gum up the works by withholding funding needed to implement a new law. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gum up (something).' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near gum up (something)

Cite this Entry

“Gum up (something).” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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