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Difference between Break a fly upon the wheel and Fly on the wheel

break a fly upon the wheelspend a great deal of effort upon smth. not worth it:

  • To apply more elaborate criticism to them, would be “to break a fly upon the wheel.”

fly on the wheela person who fancies himself of importance, but who is in reality of none at all:

  • The world grinds on: we are a fly on the wheel.