What does the idiom "make a mountain out of a molehill" mean?

The phrase make a mountain out of a molehill is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of make a mountain out of a molehill.

Meaning of "make a mountain out of a molehill"

Meaning

The phrase “make a mountain out of a molehill” is used to describe someone who is creating an issue out of something that does not need to be a big deal. It is suggesting that the speaker is exaggerating a situation and making something smaller appear to be much larger or more serious than it actually is. In this phrase, the molehill is meant to represent a small problem that gets wildly over-exaggerated, while the mountain is meant to symbolize a much larger or more serious problem.

Etymology

This phrase has been in use in some form since the 1500s. It first appeared without the molehill aspect and simply read "make a mountain". In the 1600s, it was then further extended to "make a mountain out of a mole-hill", and it has been used in this form ever since. It is thought to be derived from the Latin phrase, “montem ex mus monticulum facere”, which means to exaggerate matters and draw attention to small issues.

Usage

This phrase is used in both a literal and figurative sense. It is mostly used to talk about everyday situations and issues, often when someone is over-exaggerating their problems or situations. For example, if two friends are talking about exams, one of them might use this phrase to describe the other's reaction to the exams, saying that they are “making a mountain out of a molehill” and over-exaggerating their issues.

It can also sometimes be used in a positive way, to emphasize the importance of something that might have initially appeared to be insignificant. For example, if someone is highlighting the importance of taking small steps to solve larger problems, they might use this phrase to describe their advice.

Example Sentences

  • I know you're worried about your test, but you don't need to make a mountain out of a molehill.
  • We should try to make a mountain out of a molehill and start taking small steps to make a difference.
  • My mom always makes a mountain out of a molehill and it's so annoying!

The meanings of the words in the "make a mountain out of a molehill" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.

NO COMMENT

No comment has been written about make a mountain out of a molehill yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply