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cog in the machine
<Back to Last Page>     <Idiomatic English Glossary - C>

Definition: an unimportant part of a large enterprise; an exchangeable piece of equipment

Explanation: Used in a very negative sense when expressing dissatisfaction with one's position at work.

Examples: I'm just a cog in the machine. If you want any real answers, you'll have to talk to Fred. - They can't help feeling like they are just cogs in the machine.

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