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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 employ someone in 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 employ someone in 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 employ 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 ?
Stephen Crabb, Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire: The Wales Office Minister employs his wife, Beatrice Crabb, as a part-time executive secretary.
Ian Austin (Lab Dudley *North), the Minister for the West Midlands, employs his wife Catherine Miles as a part-time office manager and secretary.
The European Parliament has already decided that it is not appropriate for MEPs to employ relatives.
Figures released yesterday show 26 MSPs - 11 SNP, 11 Labour, two Tories and two Liberal Democrats - employ family members.
Lance Camper builds truck campers at a plant that opened in Lancaster in 1997 and employs about 350 people.
Although the closing of Renaissance Publishing, a specialty printer in Auburn, took 150 jobs, the county welcomed two new employers in the last year: Wal-Mart's frozen-food distribution center in Garrett, which employs 200, and New Millennium Building System in Butler, which makes structural steel and employs 200.
Officers employ such weapons to incapacitate dangerous subjects who have refused to obey other commands or tactics.
In areas such as postemployment and postretirement benefits, environmental cleanup obligations, fair value disclosures and derivatives, companies often employ experts or specialists to help them determine appropriate financial statement amounts and disclosures.
Within the hospital we could employ two full-time physiotherapists.
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.
The Welsh MPs include Martin Caton (Gower), who employs his wife Bethan as a senior parliamentary assistant; Paul Flynn (Newport West), who employs his wife Lynne as a senior secretary and Hywel Francis (Aberavon), who employs wife Mair as a senior parliamentary assistant.
Bill Cash (Con, Stone) employs his wife, Bridget Cash, as researcher/ parliamentary assistant.