gum up the works

gum up the works

to prevent a machine or system from operating correctly The project was going really well until that software upgrade gummed up the works.
Related vocabulary: gum up something
See also: gum, up, work

gum up the works

to prevent a machine or system from operating correctly In bad weather, twice as many people use their cars on the road, which really gums up the works.
See be up a gum tree
See also: gum, up, work