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’
    • ‘I don't really feel like I'm comfortable with the notion that I'm a valuable cog in the Big Machine though.’
    • ‘It is up to him to sacrifice himself, no longer the hub of Arsenal's wheel, but a cog in the machine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The man began to morph, turning into a cog with harsh slicing edges, an authority, a crushing piece of machinery.’
    • ‘The machine wouldn't run so well if all its little cogs weren't turning smoothly.’
    • ‘I am not very creative and prefer to be given a starting point, something to set the squeaky little cogs moving.’
    • ‘At this point the cogs in my head started to turn and I almost died trying to keep a straight face.’
    • ‘The cogs are kept in motion mostly by the energy of the sunlight captured by photosynthetic organisms.’
    • ‘Your thumb pushes the lever forward to achieve a lower gear (a bigger cog / smaller chainring).’
    • ‘Will a 14 tooth first position cog be available for the bike?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are a little cog in a huge machine and the machine is changing.’
    • ‘Sometimes being a small cog in a big machine is not so bad.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This sort of regulation has induced stereotyped thinking in most officers, who themselves became cogs in the mechanically streamlined military machine.’
    • ‘A 13-26 cog set should be sufficient (if you need more than a 26-tooth cog, it may be time to start running).’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘We all saw ourselves as small cogs in a big wheel, with no control over our own lives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sure, the stock market remains a critical cog in the wheel of the U.S. financial system.’
      • ‘Generally, they're paid a very small amount as a very small cog in a big wheel, if you like.’
      • ‘They assume that each worker is not a unique individual, but rather a 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?’
      • ‘A manager that treats his reports as cogs in a wheel is guaranteed to get the performance of a cog in a wheel.’
      • ‘Nobody wants to be a cog in a wheel, and this is even truer for people who work for your new systematized business.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This calls for a variation of the regular cogged wheel, using one wheel that has the cogs on the inside.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In brief, he misjudged the relationship of both the cog and the wheel.’
      • ‘Then, if you put on the other wheel and rode it awhile, that chain would wear out some cogs on that wheel as well.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Are we to be mercilessly reduced to cogs in the wheels of medical care systems over which we have lost all control?’
      • ‘‘What we are doing won't change the world but it's a small cog in a big wheel,’ he explained.’
      • ‘I always knew that I was the tiniest cog in the wheel.’

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

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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Was the cog loading or unloading off the small Fife port?’
    • ‘The poor state of the roads meant a considerable amount of river and coastal traffic, mainly in barges or 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.’
    • ‘Those idiot pirates who preceded me thought all Torrencia was good for was robbing their pathetic little cogs.’

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’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘I should mention, I suppose, that I cogged the photos off the film site.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Shameless cogging apart, his reliance on rhyming slang (‘He's gone down with a touch of rising damp) does him no favours.’’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cog

/kɒɡ/