cog

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a cog in the machine

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 machine anymore!
See also: cog, machine

a small cog in a large machine

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 small cog in a large machine anymore!
See also: cog, large, machine, small

a small cog in a large 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 small cog in a large wheel anymore!
See also: cog, large, small, wheel

cog in the machine

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 machine anymore!
See also: cog, machine

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

a cog in the machine/wheel

one part of a large system or organization He was just a small cog in the large wheel of organised crime. This warehouse is an important cog in our distribution machine.
See also: cog, machine

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

slip a cog

Also, slip a gear or one's gears . Lose one's ability to reason soundly or make correct judgments, as in She must have slipped a cog or she would never have gone out barefoot in December, or What's the matter with him? Has he slipped his gears? These slangy usages allude to a mechanical failure owing to the cog of a gear or a gear failing to mesh. The first dates from about 1930, the variant from the 1960s.
See also: cog, slip