put/throw a spanner in the works


: to cause something to not go as planned
We were ready to start the project when the bank threw a spanner in the works by denying the loan.

Examples of put/throw a spanner in the works in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web McCarthy, for instance, largely used his perch to put a spanner in the works of the legislative process while pushing the ridiculous investigations favored by right-wing media and the party’s most radical members. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2023 There is a strong suspicion that nicotine can throw a spanner in the works throughout this time — a particular concern given the growing popularity of vaping among young people. Anthony King, Scientific American, 13 June 2023 Coronavirus did throw a spanner in the works: MedFin ceased operations in the first week of March as outpatient departments and operation theaters shut. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, 9 Aug. 2020 However, a new paper just published in PLoS ONE could throw a spanner in the works of the thriving Google Books research paradigm. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 10 Oct. 2015 Everybody got the lockdown, and that really put a spanner in the works. Steve Appleford, SPIN, 6 Feb. 2023 That put a spanner in the works of the recent rally, with the S&P 500 Index posting its worst week since September. Farah Elbahrawy, Fortune, 7 Nov. 2022 The government had hoped things would be faster still, only for delays at Pfizer to put a spanner in the works. The Economist, 30 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'put/throw a spanner in the works.' 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 put/throw a spanner in the works

Cite this Entry

“Put/throw a spanner in the works.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/put%2Fthrow%20a%20spanner%20in%20the%20works. Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

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