cog in the wheel

cog in the wheel

Someone or something that is functionally necessary but of small significance or importance within a larger operation or organization. I'm tired of working in this thankless IT support job. I don't want to be just a cog in the wheel anymore!
See also: cog, wheel

cog in the wheel

Also, cog in the machine. One who holds a minor but necessary post in a large organization, as in Frank knew he was just a cog in the wheel of this giant corporation. This term alludes to the role of the mechanical cog, one of the teeth on a wheel or gear that, by engaging other teeth, transmits or receives motion. Used figuratively since about 1930, it sometimes is put as small cog in a large wheel, emphasizing a person's lack of importance.
See also: cog, wheel
References in periodicals archive ?
Dean is a vital cog in the wheel, a pivotal figure in the dressing room, a born leader, a competitive midfielder with great positional sense and he has great passing skills.
However, England coach Roy Hodgson has backed the player, saying that Rooney will continue be an important cog in the wheel of the national team, adding that his club future has nothing to with his future in the national squad.
Search in itself is not the answer to all of one's information needs but it is a cog in a wheel and this is an extremely effective cog in the wheel.
Bible study is one cog in the wheel of the healing triad of mind, body, and spirit.
He rarely looks like the outstanding man, but he's a very crucial cog in the wheel.
The lack of a unified service in New York is certainly a cog in the wheel of technology here, but REBNY has attempted to bridge that gap with an electronic sharing of listings among members and a resultant extension of co-brokerage.
I work fairly hard and get on with it, but I will just be another cog in the wheel.
So, hardly a vital cog in the wheel and if I were Veron I'd be wondering how United managed to improve so much without me.
long-standing relationship that goes back to Peter Walwyn's heyday when Eddery was stable jockey and Bailey was another important cog in the wheel.
She's been an integral cog in the wheel of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival for the past decade, cooking in the workers' kitchen, hosting the annual round robin, and emceeing the Night Stage with her warm comedic wit.
No one likes to feel he or she is a mere cog in the wheel, but assuming that someone is irreplaceable makes no sense.
I'll get on with it and just be another cog in the wheel
The judge said that McNamara was "a cog in the wheel that put together this conspiracy".
This is another cog in the wheel of the white man's vehicle of mistreatment by way of the laws he has written to keep us in our place.