Definition of a cog in the (or a) machine (or wheel) in English:

a cog in the (or a) machine (or wheel)

phrase

  • A small or insignificant member of a larger organization or system:

    ‘copywriters have been seen as just a cog in the big advertising machine’
    • ‘Curiously for a country long considered a cog in the wheel of global capitalism, Schröder's tact might just work.’
    • ‘Everyone is a cog in the wheel.’
    • ‘At the time, however, my dad deplored the feeling that he was becoming just another number in an impersonal organization, a cog in the machine.’
    • ‘I don't like being a cog in the machine.’
    • ‘Why be a cog in the machine when you can be a spanner in the works?’
    • ‘Running your own organisation is a big change from just being a cog in the machine.’
    • ‘They assume that each worker is not a unique individual, but rather a cog in the wheel.’
    • ‘As he becomes proletarianized, he becomes understandable: a cog in a machine.’
    • ‘His colleagues said he was being treated like "a cog in a machine".’
    • ‘It like to think that, as a cog in the machine, I did my bit to keep those wheels turning faster and faster.’