gum up the works

idiom

Definition of gum up the works

informal
: to prevent something from working or flowing properly Some dirt got inside the gears and gummed up the works. The new regulations have really gummed up the works in the office.

Learn More about gum up the works

Share gum up the works

Dictionary Entries near gum up the works

gum tree

gum turpentine

gum up (something)

gum up the works

gumweed

gumwood

gun

Statistics for gum up the works

Look-up Popularity

Comments on gum up the works

What made you want to look up gum up the works? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!