fly in the ointment

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - fly in the ointment

"fly in the ointment"

an unpleasant element in an otherwise pleasant situation


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - fly in the ointment

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I just sourced this absolutely perfect inventory control system. It is perfectly matched to our needs. It would reduce inventory maintenance time by twenty percent and reduce warehouse costs about the same. It is also very easy to operate.

Colleague 2:  Great. When are we going to implement the new system?

Colleague 1:  There's a fly in the ointment.

Colleague 2:  What's that?

Colleague 1:  The new inventory system is incompatible with our computers' operating systems.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - fly in the ointment

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  How was your tropical vacation?

Friend 2:  Almost perfect. The weather was awesome, sunny and warm with an ocean breeze every day. The beaches were superlative. The food was really good. The activities were a lot of fun. The service staff at the resort were fantastic.

Friend 1:  But the fly in the ointment?

Friend 2:  We had a shared balcony and the vacationers in the next room were very loud and obnoxious.

fly in the ointment - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   250   click for frequency by country

fly in the ointment - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for fly in the ointment.

fly in the ointment - Examples:

1)  ... not spending several thousand dollars is very appealing indeed. The only fly in the ointment is that we don't yet have a wood-burning stove, and probably won't ...

2)  ... is natural since they are the experts in the field. The fly in the ointment is that these very functionaries are too closely connected to the businesses that wish to ...

3)  The only fly in the ointment of my thesis is the Sunni/Shiite cooperation required for me to be right.

4)  ... we'd expect a second season too - the only potential fly in the ointment is NBC's rather bizarre decision to put the series on hiatus from November 26 ...

5)  ... rival producer who sued Fleming for rights to Thunderball and proved a fly in the ointment for the official Bond team for decades to come. 

6)  ... beloved by millions, and plagiarised by its competitors. The only fly in the ointment? It's just a little bit dull! 

7)  ... the couple look to the future but there's only one fly in the ointment, Larry's boozy wife, Catherine. 

8)  ... amount of preventive medicine that can be delivered for a given cost. The fly in the ointment is Big Pharma, which has the power to control both the price of medicine ...

9)  Head trauma in current and retired players remains a fly in the ointment. It's an issue that the public is certainly paying attention to.

10)  ... be catching more heat from the sun. There's this little fly in the ointment called global warming. In order for the giant space mirror to work efficiently ...

11)  ... these errors on a timely and reliable basis) will be the fly in the ointment. It is not an impossible task, but one that takes know-how and people ...

12)  Subjectivity must be the fly in the ointment of art criticism, though. How do you reconcile this schism?

13)  There's really just one fly in the ointment -- the self-provisioning tool only works with USB drives that are "Windows to Go ...

14)  The fly in the ointment for graphite space, however, is that processing often requires a multistage grind and ...

15)  Without a doubt, the fundamental fly in the ointment of social, global, environmental and economical peace and tranquility are the unintended consequences ...

16)  ... wind generations system until we realize that there is a serious performance fly in the ointment. The capacity factor of wind generators drop on hot days.

17)  The one fly in the ointment is that the Congresswoman and the Speaker are not exactly the dearest of friends.

18)  And that factor can sometimes be the fly in the ointment that stops a new aircraft from moving forward.

19)  However, I do think that the fly in the ointment I is your assumption that the US economy is nearing the limit of increasing exploitation.

20)  ... but while the medicine part was a fly in the ointment, the rest was freakin brilliant.