gum up the works

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gum up the works

To interfere with the proper functioning of something. More regulations will just gum up the works.
See also: gum, up, work

gum up the works

If something gums up the works, it makes it difficult for a process or activity to happen. We hope to use the new electronic voting machines, but legal challenges could still gum up the works.
See also: gum, up, work

gum up the ˈworks

(informal) make progress or an activity impossible: The building was going well, but the delay in delivering more bricks has really gummed up the works.
The works are the moving parts of an engine.
See also: gum, up, work