a fly in the ointment


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Related to a fly in the ointment: a good Samaritan

fly in the ointment

A flaw or imperfection that detracts from something positive. The only fly in the ointment in an otherwise perfect wedding day was the fact that the bride tripped when walking down the aisle.
See also: fly, ointment

a fly in the ointment

If someone or something is a fly in the ointment, they prevent a situation from being as successful or happy as it would be without them. The only fly in the ointment is Bella's chronic lack of concentration. One potentially large fly in the ointment is how radio resources have been split up worldwide. Note: This expression probably comes from the Bible: `Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.' (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
See also: fly, ointment