Main definitions of cog in English

: cog1cog2cog3

cog1

noun

  • 1A wheel or bar with a series of projections on its edge, which transfers motion by engaging with projections on another wheel or bar.

    ‘the cogs and springs of a watch’
    • ‘The wheels and cogs in Darcy's head began to spin madly.’
    • ‘You said you checked for it, but it seems likely that the chain is being pinched between the jockey wheel and the cog.’
    • ‘It is up to him to sacrifice himself, no longer the hub of Arsenal's wheel, but a cog in the machine.’
    • ‘The cogs are kept in motion mostly by the energy of the sunlight captured by photosynthetic organisms.’
    • ‘At this point the cogs in my head started to turn and I almost died trying to keep a straight face.’
    • ‘The man began to morph, turning into a cog with harsh slicing edges, an authority, a crushing piece of machinery.’
    • ‘I imagine it must be like a game of Mousetrap in there, all cogs and levers, ball bearings and little plastic men diving into baths.’
    • ‘Assuming the gear size is the same, is the 53/23 more efficient because the chain is on a larger tooth cog?’
    • ‘He eventually lost the battle with the bag and the little cog at the back of the gears snapped.’
    • ‘Your thumb pushes the lever forward to achieve a lower gear (a bigger cog / smaller chainring).’
    • ‘I am not very creative and prefer to be given a starting point, something to set the squeaky little cogs moving.’
    • ‘We are a little cog in a huge machine and the machine is changing.’
    • ‘The machine wouldn't run so well if all its little cogs weren't turning smoothly.’
    • ‘I don't really feel like I'm comfortable with the notion that I'm a valuable cog in the Big Machine though.’
    • ‘The other major difference is that the downshifts come one at a time, so a run from the 23-tooth cog down to the 12 will take eight clicks, and a few seconds.’
    • ‘Sometimes being a small cog in a big machine is not so bad.’
    • ‘A 13-26 cog set should be sufficient (if you need more than a 26-tooth cog, it may be time to start running).’
    • ‘Will a 14 tooth first position cog be available for the bike?’
    • ‘The difference engine was envisaged as a mechanical machine, with brass cogs and moving pistons, to be powered by turning a crank or by steam.’
    • ‘This sort of regulation has induced stereotyped thinking in most officers, who themselves became cogs in the mechanically streamlined military machine.’
    prong, point, tine, ratchet, sprocket
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Each of the projections on a cog.
      ‘applewood was the favourite material for the cogs or teeth of a cogwheel’
      • ‘‘We're obviously proud every time Germany wins and like to think we're making a small contribution as small cogs in the big wheel,’ he said.’
      • ‘Generally, they're paid a very small amount as a very small cog in a big wheel, if you like.’
      • ‘It would make me anxious if I was just a cog in a PR wheel, but I don't think that's the case at all.’
      • ‘‘I quickly realised that I was not cut out to be a cog in a wheel and that I wanted to try to run the show,’ she says.’
      • ‘It took only a generation or two for assembly line workers to accept being cogs in a wheel, unable to imagine it could be any other way.’
      • ‘They assume that each worker is not a unique individual, but rather a cog in the wheel.’
      • ‘A manager that treats his reports as cogs in a wheel is guaranteed to get the performance of a cog in a wheel.’
      • ‘This calls for a variation of the regular cogged wheel, using one wheel that has the cogs on the inside.’
      • ‘Sure, the stock market remains a critical cog in the wheel of the U.S. financial system.’
      • ‘Then, if you put on the other wheel and rode it awhile, that chain would wear out some cogs on that wheel as well.’
      • ‘Are we to be mercilessly reduced to cogs in the wheels of medical care systems over which we have lost all control?’
      • ‘We all saw ourselves as small cogs in a big wheel, with no control over our own lives.’
      • ‘I always knew that I was the tiniest cog in the wheel.’
      • ‘Is it really the duty of a minor cog in a big wheel to take a stand and risk the consequences?’
      • ‘In brief, he misjudged the relationship of both the cog and the wheel.’
      • ‘Nobody wants to be a cog in a wheel, and this is even truer for people who work for your new systematized business.’
      • ‘It's OK to be a cog in the wheel and not every college in the world is looking for somebody that's been a leader across the board.’
      • ‘He is not a man who fits easily as a cog into the corporate wheel - he defies his superiors and returns to the case as a freelancer.’
      • ‘The machine worked by having a wheel with cogs which was prevented from spinning by a pair of metal leaves which moved up and down.’
      • ‘‘What we are doing won't change the world but it's a small cog in a big wheel,’ he explained.’

Phrases

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

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

      ‘copywriters have been seen as just a cog in the big advertising machine’
      • ‘Running your own organisation is a big change from just being a cog in the 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.’
      • ‘It like to think that, as a cog in the machine, I did my bit to keep those wheels turning faster and faster.’
      • ‘His colleagues said he was being treated like "a cog in a machine".’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Why be a cog in the machine when you can be a spanner in the works?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't like being a cog in the machine.’

Origin

Middle English: probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Swedish kugge and Norwegian kug.

Pronunciation

cog

/kɒɡ/

Main definitions of cog in English

: cog1cog2cog3

cog2

noun

  • A broadly built medieval ship with a rounded prow and stern.

    • ‘Was the cog loading or unloading off the small Fife port?’
    • ‘These had rounded hulls and strakes gathered into the upper end of the latter and not, as in a cog, ending at the stem and stern posts.’
    • ‘The poor state of the roads meant a considerable amount of river and coastal traffic, mainly in barges or cogs.’
    • ‘Those idiot pirates who preceded me thought all Torrencia was good for was robbing their pathetic little cogs.’
    • ‘The cog was a broadly built ship, with a roundish prow and stern, more manœuvrable than the old kind and specifically designed for carrying freight.’

Origin

Middle English: related to Middle Dutch kogge, Old French cogue.

Pronunciation

cog

/kɒɡ/

Main definitions of cog in English

: cog1cog2cog3

cog3

verb

[with object]Irish
informal
  • Copy (someone else's work) illicitly or without acknowledgement.

    ‘he's away cogging his homework from Aggie's wee girl’
    • ‘What I do remember, though, is that someone came up to me a few days later and said that I had cogged the ideas from another columnist.’
    • ‘I should mention, I suppose, that I cogged the photos off the film site.’
    • ‘Shameless cogging apart, his reliance on rhyming slang (‘He's gone down with a touch of rising damp) does him no favours.’’
    • ‘Under strict department rules, students who are found guilty of cogging could lose all their exam grades.’
    • ‘Still, you have to start somewhere, so if you happen to be stuck for words, who do you cog?’

Origin

Mid 16th century (in senses ‘practise tricks in throwing dice’ and ‘cheat’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

cog

/kɒɡ/