put (one's) shoulder to the wheel

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put (one's) shoulder to the wheel

To make a sustained, concentrated, and vigorous effort; to work very hard and diligently. After I was nearly expelled in my first year of college, I decided to stop fooling around, put my shoulder to the wheel, and get as much out of my degree as I could. I know that the new deadline is tight, but if everyone puts their shoulders to the wheel, I know we can get it done in time!
See also: put, shoulder, wheel

put one's shoulder to the wheel

Work hard, make a strenuous effort, as in We'll have to put our shoulder to the wheel to get this job done. This metaphoric term, alluding to pushing a heavy vehicle that has bogged down, has been used figuratively since the late 1700s.
See also: put, shoulder, wheel

put your shoulder to the wheel

If you put your shoulder to the wheel, you put a great deal of effort into a difficult task. He vowed to put his shoulder to the wheel to drive the peace process forward. Everyone just put their shoulder to the wheel and got on with it. Note: In the days when people travelled in carriages or carts on roads that often got very muddy, people would help free vehicles that were stuck by leaning against a wheel and pushing.
See also: put, shoulder, wheel

put your shoulder to the wheel

set to work vigorously.
The image here is of pushing with your shoulder against the wheel of a cart or other vehicle that has become stuck.
See also: put, shoulder, wheel

put your shoulder to the ˈwheel

start working very hard at a particular task: We’re really going to have to put our shoulders to the wheel if we want to get this ready on time. OPPOSITE: take it/things easy
See also: put, shoulder, wheel

put (one's) shoulder to the wheel

To apply oneself vigorously; make a concentrated effort.
See also: put, shoulder, wheel
References in classic literature ?
If life promised no enjoyment within my vocation, at least it offered no allurements out of it; and henceforth I would put my shoulder to the wheel and toil away, like any poor drudge of a cart-horse that was fairly broken in to its labour, and plod through life, not wholly useless if not agreeable, and uncomplaining if not contented with my lot.
He added: "I will put my shoulder to the wheel to ensure it is done.
I think I'll have to put my shoulder to the wheel more than ever now, especially with the younger fellas coming in.
But I have choices--I can stick my imperial tongue out at the pricks (with a lisp--how Castilian--how teased), make like my cousin Harpo Marx and go mute--honking at the pretty boys driving down Ashford Avenue, or put my shoulder to the wheel and speak like the real America.
He said: "I'm just delighted to be back fit again and ready to put my shoulder to the wheel.
I'll put my shoulder to the wheel, work harder and get the players to work harder.
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