An engine needs each of its parts to work. It has gears which have wheels. Each wheel has cogs, or tiny teeth that fit together, making the wheel turn, the engine run. Every cog is essential to that engine.

People can also be cogs — they are the workers who, day in and day out, perform their duties seemingly with no end in sight. Feeling disheartened, they might say, "I'm just a cog in the system." If you hear this, remind them of the true definition of the term cog — an instrumental part of the whole.

Definitions of cog
  1. noun
    tooth on the rim of gear wheel
    synonyms: sprocket
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    type of:
    something resembling the tooth of an animal
  2. noun
    a subordinate who performs an important but routine function
    “he was a small cog in a large machine”
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    type of:
    foot soldier, subordinate, subsidiary, underling
    an assistant subject to the authority or control of another
  3. verb
    join pieces of wood with cogs
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    type of:
    bring together, join
    cause to become joined or linked
  4. verb
    roll steel ingots
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    type of:
    roll, roll out
    flatten or spread with a roller
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