Meaning of “fly in the ointment” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"fly in the ointment" in British English

See all translations

fly in the ointment

informal

a single thing or person that is spoiling a situation that could have been very positive or enjoyable:

I'm looking forward to Sunday, the only fly in the ointment being the fact that I'll have to sit next to my mother-in-law.

(Definition of “fly in the ointment” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fly in the ointment" in American English

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.

(Definition of “fly in the ointment” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)