engine

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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, to

engine room

The main source of talent, power, or ability in a team or group, likened to the room that houses a ship's engine. Sarah is our engine room, so with her injured, I'm not sure how we'll be able to win on Saturday.
See also: engine, room

throttle down

1. To cause a vehicle to reduce in speed by decreasing the flow of fuel to the engine. A noun or pronoun can be used between "throttle" and "down" to specify what is being slowed down. The engineer throttled the train down to a stop so that the crew could begin unloading the cargo. You'll want to start throttling down the engine as you pull into the harbor.
2. Of a computer or component thereof, to begin operating with difficulty and at a lower speed or level of efficiency. After about 30 minutes, the computer gets really hot and then the CPU starts throttling down to about half speed. The network will automatically throttle down if too many people are using the Internet at once.
See also: down, throttle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throttle something down

to reduce the speed of an engine by adjusting the throttle. She throttled her engine down and came to a stop. She throttled down her engine.
See also: down, throttle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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