In a Rut

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Definition:

Adhering to a routine that one should try to get out of

Description:

In the horse and buggy days the dirt roads would get worn with ruts from the wagon wheels.
Once you got your wagon wheels into these ruts it was very hard to get them out, you had to follow the same old path.
Thomas Carlyle (1839): Essay on Chartism –  “Parliaments, lumbering along in their deep ruts of commonplace.”

Source:

Thomas Carlyle (1839) - Essay on Chartism

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