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reinvent the wheel

  1. (idiomatic) To do work unnecessarily when it has already been done satisfactorily by others; to attempt to devise a solution to a problem when a solution already exists.
    • 2017 January 20, Annie Zaleski, “AFI sounds refreshed and rejuvenated on its 10th album, AFI (The Blood Album)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      But although AFI (The Blood Album) doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it doesn’t need to: The record illustrates that the members of AFI are deeply committed to forward motion, and remain as fired up now as they were 25 years ago.
    • 2000 August 28, Dave Kearns, “Directory Services: Let's not reinvent the wheel”, in Network World, volume 17, page 22:
      Evidently, the trend in security applications is to reinvent the wheel, or in this case, to reinvent the directory service.

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