Definition of the thin end of the wedge in English:

the thin end of the wedge

phrase

informal
  • An action or procedure of little importance that is likely to lead to more serious developments.

    ‘a charge for nursery classes would be the thin end of the wedge and lead to charges for ordinary schooling’
    • ‘He said: ‘I am concerned that this is the thin end of the wedge.’’
    • ‘Any element of the built environment introduced into that field would simply be the thin end of the wedge and a potential disaster for the retention of the green belt between Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfedale.’
    • ‘He added: ‘The Government will need to intervene if this is taking place because it will be the thin end of the wedge for rural services.’’
    • ‘If this happens a lot of people will assume it's the thin end of the wedge.’
    • ‘‘It's the thin end of the wedge,’ warned Mr Stancliffe.’
    • ‘It clearly isn't, as they claim, the thin end of the wedge.’
    • ‘It has been put to me that this is the thin end of the wedge.’
    • ‘But unions representing the 1,500 workers at the service say they are deeply sceptical about the proposals and fear it is the thin end of the wedge in a privatisation drive.’
    • ‘But he has praised shared campuses - seen by some as the thin end of the wedge - where Catholic and Protestant children are taught separately but on the same premises in a bid to tackle religious hatred.’
    • ‘They fear that having the three services in the same building is the thin end of the wedge to ‘multi-skilling’, and jobs could be lost if operators handle calls for all three services.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I had one meeting with an angling club and met with a bit of aggression, as they saw it as the thin end of the wedge.’’