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employ a steam engine to crack a nut

To use excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. With this new system of issuing licenses, the government has employed a steam engine to crack a nut: four separate departments now handle each stage of an application, when a single department could easily process applications from start to finish.
See also: crack, employ, engine, nut, steam

employ (someone) as (something)

To hire someone for a particular role or job. I thought they were going to employ me as a file clerk, but because they needed help with data entry, I wound up doing that instead.
See also: employ

employ (someone) for (something)

To hire someone for a particular role or job. I thought they were just going to employ me for filing, but because they needed help with data entry, I wound up doing that instead.
See also: employ

employ (someone) in (something)

To hire someone to work in a certain area. I applied for the job as file clerk, but they employed me in data entry instead.
See also: employ

employ someone as something

to pay someone to work in some capacity. I employed Fred as a personal secretary for about three months. Can you employ me as a stock clerk?
See also: employ

employ someone for something

to hire someone for a particular purpose. I employ him for special chores around the factory. Kelly employed Walter for emergency repairs on the night shift.
See also: employ

employ someone in something

to pay someone to work in a particular type of work. I employ Tom in machine maintenance. Laura is employed in accounting.
See also: employ
References in periodicals archive ?
Jacqui Smith (Lab, Redditch), the former Home Secretary, employs her husband Richard Timney as her Parliamentary assistant, while Lorely Burt (Lib Dem, Solihull) employs her husband Richard Burt as press and research assistant.
The SNP MSPs include Nicola Sturgeon, who employs her mother Joan, Brian Adam, who employs his son Alan, Willie Coffey, who employs his sister Helen, Angela Constance, who employs her mother-in-law Mary Knox, and Kenneth Gibson, who employs wife Patricia.
Among the new list are: Sir Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough) employs wife Margaret as office manager; Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby) employs wife Maureen as an executive secretary; Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) employs partner Margaret Brown, as parliamentary assistant and Iain Wright (Hartlepool) employs wife Tiffiny as caseworker.
Wal-Mart employs 2,000 people in four Antelope Valley stores.
An "income tax return preparer" is any person who prepares for compensation, or who employs one or more persons to prepare for compensation, all or a substantial portion of any return or refund claim; see Sec.
Notably, CBS is the only network that employs a minority in the lead creative position of show runner: Pam Veasey, an African American woman, on The District.
Whenever an offense employs a Wide-Slot tight end set with two backs in the backfield, we will flop our corner and reduce the safety on the tight-end side.
Major Fort Wayne expansions totaling nearly $10 million include: Mobile Tool International, which employs 200 and makes truck-mounted aerial lifts; Poly Hi Solidur, which makes chemical- and corrosion-resistant polymers and employs 60; and Alconex Specialty Products, which employs 32 and makes aluminum and copper magnet wire, hollow conductors and exchangers.
To minimize this apprehension, the law enforcement community should establish not only firm guidelines on the use of force, but also on the method it employs to evaluate the effectiveness and judiciousness of such actions.
According to published reports, Marshfield Clinic has 23 satellite offices, employs more than 420 physicians and 2,600 nonphysicians, is affiliated with more than 100 other physicians, and has referral relationships with some nonaffiliated physicians.
73 applies whenever auditors use a specialist's work as evidential matter in performing substantive tests to evaluate material financial statement assertions, regardless of whether management engages or employs the specialist, management engages a specialist employed by the auditor's firm to provide advisory services or the auditor engages the specialist.
Debra Dent, co-owner of the Kenora Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, says her practice employs four physiotherapists and that the Lake of the Woods District Hospital employs an additional four.
This type of reclaimer usually employs fluid bed devices to perform preheating, drying, calcining and primary cooling operations.
The company has annual sales of approximately Dan 47 billion (US$61 billion) and employs 188,000 employees in over 70 countries worldwide.
They included Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, MP for Redditch, who employs her husband Richard Timney as a researcher and parliamentary assistant.