What does the idiom "The devil is in the details" mean?

The expression The devil is in the details is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the The devil is in the details idiom.

Meaning of "The devil is in the details"

Meaning

The idiom ‘The devil is in the details’ is an expression that means that it is the small details of a task or project that are often the most important. It is usually used in reference to something that requires a lot of hard work or attention to detail, and it implies that careful and thorough attention must be paid to all aspects of the task in order to ensure the best results. The phrase is often used when talking about projects that require careful planning or when giving advice to someone who is struggling to complete a complicated task.

Etymology

The phrase ‘The devil is in the details’ first appeared in print in the 1884 book ‘The Thorny Path’ by Karl Von Reichenbach. The phrase is thought to be inspired by the German proverb “Der Teufel steckt im Detail”, which is translated as “The Devil is in the Detail”. The phrase then spread in popularity throughout Europe, eventually making its way to America and becoming part of the English language.

Usage

The phrase ‘The devil is in the details’ is most often used to refer to a project or task that requires extreme attention to detail in order for it to be successful. It is often used when talking about a project that is time consuming and requires dedicated effort, as the phrase is implying that the success of the task hinges upon the details. It is also often used to give advice to someone who is struggling to complete a project, as the phrase implies that they should focus on the small details in order to achieve success.

Example Sentences

  • “I know the project seems daunting, but remember – the devil is in the details”
  • “If you want the recipe to turn out right, you have to be careful – the devil is in the details”
  • “If you want to succeed in this job, you have to pay attention to the small things – the devil is in the details”
  • “Don’t forget – the devil is in the details”
  • “If you want your presentation to

The meanings of the words in the "The devil is in the details" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.

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