gum up the works

Definition of gum up the works


  1. :  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.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  the tissue that surrounds the necks of teeth and covers the alveolar parts of the jaws

    :  the alveolar portion of a jaw with its enveloping soft tissues

  1. :  to enlarge gullets of (a saw)

    :  to chew with the gums

  1. :  any of numerous colloidal polysaccharide substances of plant origin that are gelatinous when moist but harden on drying and are salts of complex organic acids — compare mucilage 1

    :  any of various plant exudates (as an oleoresin or gum resin)

    :  a substance or deposit resembling a plant gum (as in sticky or adhesive quality)

  1. :  to clog, impede, or damage with or as if with gum

    :  to exude or form gum

    :  to become gummy

  1. :  in or into a higher position or level

    :  away from the center of the earth

    :  from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  1. :  risen above the horizon

    :  standing

    :  being out of bed

  1. : used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

    :  up into or in the

    :  in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. :  one in a high or advantageous position

    :  an upward slope

    :  a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. :  to rise from a lying or sitting position

    :  to move upward :  ascend

    : used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

workplay works
  1. :  activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:

    :  sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result

    :  the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood

  1. :  used for work

    :  suitable or styled for wear while working

    :  involving or engaged in work

  1. :  to bring to pass :  effect

    :  to fashion or create a useful or desired product by expending labor or exertion on :  forge, shape

    :  to make or decorate with needlework

Seen and Heard

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).


holding stubbornly to a belief or view

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