set the wheels in motion

set the wheels in motion

To cause something to begin. The wheels were set in motion for stricter gun laws by a senator from New Hampshire. We've been planning the details for months, but it's ultimately up to the boss to set the wheels in motion.
See also: motion, set, wheel

set something in motion

to start something moving. The mayor set the project in motion by digging the first shovelful of soil. I cannot set the procedure in motion until I receive a purchase order.
See also: motion, set

set in motion

Start something moving, give impetus to something, as in A press conference set the new project in motion. It is also put as set the wheels in motion, as in Let's set the wheels in motion for the new library wing. This idiom dates from about 1800. It was preceded by put in motion, which dates from the mid-1600s.
See also: motion, set

set the wheels in motion

If you set the wheels in motion you do what is necessary to start something happening. So if you'll just sign the agreement, we'll set the wheels in motion. By 1971 Bridget's mother had set the wheels in motion to divorce Tayar. Note: The verb put is sometimes used instead of set. Less than 30 days after becoming leader of his party, he put the wheels in motion to forge a merger with the Alliance. Note: You can also say that the wheels are in motion. Sources indicated the wheels are in motion for the two sides to meet following tomorrow's Grey Cup game.
See also: motion, set, wheel

set the wheels in motion

do something to begin a process or put a plan into action.
See also: motion, set, wheel

set in motion

To give impetus to: The indictment set the judicial process in motion.
See also: motion, set
References in classic literature ?
I fear not the grinding of His mills; if necessary I shall set the wheels in motion myself.