View synonyms for gum up

gum up


  1. to cover, dab, or stiffen with gum
  2. informal.
    to make a mess of; bungle (often in the phrase gum up the works )
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Idioms and Phrases

Ruin or bungle something, as in The front office has gummed up the sales campaign thoroughly . This idiom is also put as gum up the works , as in John's changes in procedures have gummed up the works in the shipping department . [ Slang ; c. 1900]
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Example Sentences

Republicans throw up procedural obstacles just to gum up the works and run out the clock.

All of those can gum up the narrative he has crafted so carefully.

But if it ever came down to it I should be able to knock down an airplane, gum up the works on a fusing detonator, maybe even—.

That was why I objected to it in the first place: 'fraid somebody would lose it and gum up things.

Explosions and accidents of many kinds are possible with the lamp that is allowed to clog and gum up.

Always wipe the stone dry after using, as the oil will dry and gum up the grinding surface if not kept clean.

After the etching has dried remove the same with water, and gum up again.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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