spin (one's) wheels

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spin (one's) wheels

To waste one's time or energy idly or frivolously; to neither progress nor regress, but remain in a fixed, neutral position. They kept me on to manage what's left of this division, but to be honest, I've just been spinning my wheels here for the last couple of years. We haven't been able to do anything new until more funding comes in, so the project is just spinning its wheels for the moment.
See also: spin, wheel

spin one's wheels

to waste time; to remain in a neutral position, neither advancing nor falling back. (Fig. on a car that is running but is not moving because its wheels are spinning in mud, etc.) I'm just spinning my wheels in this job. I need more training to get ahead. The whole project was just spinning its wheels until spring.
See also: spin, wheel

spin one's wheels

Expend effort with no result, as in We're just spinning our wheels here while management tries to make up its mind. This idiom, with its image of a vehicle in snow or sand that spins its wheels but cannot move, dates from the mid-1900s.
See also: spin, wheel

spin your wheels

mainly AMERICAN
If someone spins their wheels, they fail to achieve anything satisfactory. He's not getting anywhere. He's just spinning his wheels. For almost an hour now he had been spinning his wheels, accomplishing nothing.
See also: spin, wheel

spin your wheels

waste your time or efforts. North American informal
2001 Time As long as our national energy policy is demand-driven…we will continue to spin our wheels.
See also: spin, wheel

spin your ˈwheels

use your time, energy, etc. without achieving anything: I had the feeling that the company was spinning its wheels and getting nowhere. ▶ ˈwheel-spinning noun: Save yourself some wheel-spinning and head to the library.
See also: spin, wheel

spin (one's) wheels

Informal
To expend effort with no result.
See also: spin, wheel