engine(redirected from engines)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to engines: Search engines
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
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.
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.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
- kill a fly with an elephant gun
- a sledgehammer to crack a nut
- employ a steam engine to crack a nut
- take a sledgehammer to crack a nut
- use a sledgehammer to crack a nut
- a committee is a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours
- no expense is spared
- spare no expense
- spare no expense/pains/trouble doing something