Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “fly in the ointment”

See all translations

fly in the ointment

something that spoils a situation that could have been pleasant: The party was great – the only fly in the ointment was that my grumpy uncle was there.
Translations of “fly in the ointment”
in Chinese (Traditional) 美中不足之處, 令人掃興的東西(或人)…
in Chinese (Simplified) 美中不足之处, 令人扫兴的东西(或人)…
(Definition of fly in the ointment from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “fly in the ointment” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More