Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “gum up something”

gum up something

phrasal verb with gum
to cause something to slow down or stop working: The volcanic ash can gum up a car's air filter. Requiring every bill to have a hearing would gum up the works (= cause a process to stop working).
(Definition of gum up something from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Word of the Day


the quality of knowing someone very well, liking them a lot, and wanting to spend a lot of time together

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More