throw a monkey wrench into

Sabotage or frustrate a project or plans, as in The boss threw a monkey wrench into our plans when he said we'd have to work Saturday. This transfer of industrial sabotage—that is, throwing a tool inside machinery—to other subjects dates from the early 1900s.


Nearby words

  1. throughway,
  2. throve,
  3. throw,
  4. throw a curve,
  5. throw a fit,
  6. throw a party,
  7. throw a punch,
  8. throw about,
  9. throw away,
  10. throw back

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