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reinvent the wheel (third-person singular simple present reinvents the wheel, present participle reinventing the wheel, simple past and past participle reinvented 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.
    • 2000 August 28, Dave Kearns, “Directory Services: Let’s not reinvent the wheel”, in Network World, volume 17, number 35, Southborough, Mass.: Network World, Inc., ISSN 0887-7661, OCLC 803858702, page 22:
      Evidently, the trend in security applications is to reinvent the wheel, or in this case, to reinvent the directory service.
    • 2017 January 20, Annie Zaleski, “AFI Sounds Refreshed and Rejuvenated on Its 10th Album, AFI (The Blood Album)”, in The A.V. 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.


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