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Fly in the Ointment

What Does "Fly in the Ointment" Mean?

homeidiomsFly in the Ointment
"Fly in the ointment" is an English idiom. It means "a small problem or flaw in an overall pleasant situation."

Examples in Sentences

Here are three examples of the idiom "fly in the ointment" used in a sentence:
  • The only fly in the ointment during our vacation was the bad weather on the last day.
  • Their product is excellent, but the poor customer service is a fly in the ointment.
  • Everything was going well, but the unexpected expense was the fly in the ointment.
meaning for fly in the ointment

What Is an Idiom?

An idiom is a commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal meaning of its words. In other words, if you were to translate "Fly in the Ointment" word for word, there is no guarantee the translation would help you to understand the meaning.

An idiom often includes a cultural or historical context that makes it difficult for non-native English speakers to understand. A phrase is classified as an idiom when a direct translation of the words does not reveal the meaning. Most idioms rely on shared knowledge or experiences known only to a specific community.

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