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 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 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

slip a cog

To become mentally unbalanced, disturbed, or confused. Usually used humorously or facetiously. Sorry, I must have slipped a cog, because I have no idea what I was talking about just now. Grandpa, I think you've slipped a cog—I've never heard of that movie and I can't find it anywhere online!
See also: cog, slip
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cog in the wheel (or machine

) a person who plays a small mundane (perhaps vital but generally unacknowledged or unappreciated) role in a large enterprise.
See also: cog, machine, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a cog in the maˈchine/ˈwheel

(informal) a person who plays a small part in a large organization or plan: The firm tries hard to make its employees feel that they are more than simply cogs in the wheel.
See also: cog, machine, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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