Sabotage

(redirected from Put a spanner in the works)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

Sabotage

The willful destruction or impairment of, or defective production of, war material or national defense material, or harm to war premises or war utilities. During a labor dispute, the willful and malicious destruction of an employer's property or interference with his normal operations.

The objective of sabotage is to halt all production, rather than to destroy or imperil human life. The original act of sabotage is thought to have occurred not long after the introduction of machinery when someone slipped a workman's wooden shoe, called a sabot, into a loom in order to stop production. Sabotage is a crime.

References in periodicals archive ?
But the popularity of old Christmas favourites being downloaded for parties, as well as internet campaigns, could put a spanner in the works for the 18-year-old Scot's When You Believe.
The insider revealed: "She'll be trying to put a spanner in the works by suggesting Eve is after his cash rather than his love."