Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “put/throw a spanner in the works”

put/throw a spanner in the works

(US throw a (monkey) wrench in the works)
to do something that prevents a plan or activity from succeeding: The funding for the project was withdrawn so that really threw a spanner in the works.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restricting
(Definition of put/throw a spanner in the works from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “put/throw a spanner in the works”

Word of the Day

stampede

When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

Word of the Day

Blog

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