put/throw a spanner in the works

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of put/throw a spanner in the works

informal
: 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.

Word by Word Definitions

put play
  1. : to place in a specified position or relationship : lay

  2. : to move in a specified direction

  3. : to send (something, such as a weapon or missile) into or through something : thrust

  1. : a throw made with an overhand pushing motion

  2. : an option to sell a specified amount of a security (such as a stock) or commodity (such as wheat) at a fixed price at or within a specified time — compare call 3d

  1. : being in place : fixed, set

throw play
  1. : to propel through the air by a forward motion of the hand and arm

  2. : to propel through the air in any manner

  3. : pitch

  1. : an act of throwing, hurling, or flinging

  2. : an act of throwing dice

  3. : the number thrown with a cast of dice

spanner play
  1. : wrench

  2. : a wrench that has a hole, projection, or hook at one or both ends of the head for engaging with a corresponding device on the object that is to be turned

work play works
  1. : to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary

  2. : to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations

  3. : to exert oneself physically or mentally especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity

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

  2. : activity that a person engages in regularly to earn a livelihood

  3. : a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity

  1. : suitable or styled for wear while working

  2. : used for work

  3. : involving or engaged in work


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