put (one's) shoulder to the wheel

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put (one's) shoulder to the wheel

To make a sustained, concentrated, and vigorous effort; to work very hard and diligently. After I was nearly expelled in my first year of college, I decided to stop fooling around, put my shoulder to the wheel, and get as much out of my degree as I could. I know that the new deadline is tight, but if everyone puts their shoulders to the wheel, I know we can get it done in time!
See also: put, shoulder, to, wheel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put one's shoulder to the wheel

Work hard, make a strenuous effort, as in We'll have to put our shoulder to the wheel to get this job done. This metaphoric term, alluding to pushing a heavy vehicle that has bogged down, has been used figuratively since the late 1700s.
See also: put, shoulder, to, wheel
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

put your shoulder to the wheel

If you put your shoulder to the wheel, you put a great deal of effort into a difficult task. He vowed to put his shoulder to the wheel to drive the peace process forward. Everyone just put their shoulder to the wheel and got on with it. Note: In the days when people travelled in carriages or carts on roads that often got very muddy, people would help free vehicles that were stuck by leaning against a wheel and pushing.
See also: put, shoulder, to, wheel
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

put your shoulder to the wheel

set to work vigorously.
The image here is of pushing with your shoulder against the wheel of a cart or other vehicle that has become stuck.
See also: put, shoulder, to, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put your shoulder to the ˈwheel

start working very hard at a particular task: We’re really going to have to put our shoulders to the wheel if we want to get this ready on time. OPPOSITE: take it/things easy
See also: put, shoulder, to, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put (one's) shoulder to the wheel

To apply oneself vigorously; make a concentrated effort.
See also: put, shoulder, to, wheel
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

shoulder to the wheel, to put/set one's

To make a determined effort, to work hard. This allusion to pushing a bogged-down cart dates from the early seventeenth century. Robert Burton used it in The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621): “Like him in Aesop . . . he whipt his horses withal, and put his shoulder to the wheel.” Only in the eighteenth century was it extended to any kind of hard work, as in Madame d’Arblay’s diary entry (June 1792): “We must all put our shoulders to the wheel.”
See also: put, set, shoulder, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
His vision of regional partnerships and all putting their shoulders to the wheel so we show the rest of the country what can be done was inspiring and deserves our support.
Centre Greg King and prop Tom Fidler have joined Drew Cheshire and Greg Charlton in putting their shoulders to the wheel as the club seeks to bounce immediately back following its relegation to National One.
Without putting their shoulders to the wheel, they and their grantees cannot expect to see impact--the kind of impact that turns good policy into real practice people can see and experience every day.
The threat of irrelevance is understood by leading statesmen, who have committed themselves to putting their shoulders to the wheel. British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have unequivocally endorsed the recommendation of the High-level Expert Group on Trade, which Peter Sutherland and I co-chair, that we ought to abandon the Doha Round if it is not concluded by the end of this year.
Mr Smart, a former pupil at the school, said: "I would like to thank everyone for putting their shoulders to the wheel in helping to turn the school around.
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