What does the idiom "the tip of the iceberg" mean?

the tip of the iceberg is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression the tip of the iceberg is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "the tip of the iceberg"

Meaning

The idiom 'the tip of the iceberg' is used to describe a situation in which only a small part of a much larger issue is visible or known. It is often used to refer to hidden problems or potential dangers that are not apparent from superficial observation.

Etymology

The metaphor 'the tip of the iceberg' originated from sightings of large icebergs floating in the ocean. The small amount of ice visible above the water only represented a small fraction of the total mass of the iceberg beneath the surface.

The phrase was first used in its figurative sense in a speech given by U.S. Senator Joseph Bristow in the Senate in 1917. Since then, it has been used to refer to any situation in which the full scope of a problem or danger is hidden from view.

Usage

The idiom 'the tip of the iceberg' is used to describe a situation in which only a small part of a much larger issue is visible or known. It is most often used to refer to a situation in which the full scope of a problem or danger is hidden from view and needs to be explored or addressed.

The idiom can also be used to refer to any situation in which the visible evidence is only a small part of the full story. For example, it can be used to refer to a situation in which the public or media are only aware of a small part of the truth and there is much more hiding out of sight.

Example Sentences

  • The extent of the corruption in the government was just the tip of the iceberg.
  • The recent scandal is just the tip of the iceberg - there are likely to be more revelations in the future.
  • We have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the environmental damage caused by the oil spill.
  • The massive data breach was just the tip of the iceberg - it uncovered a much larger security issue.

The meanings of the words in the "the tip of the iceberg" idiom

Idioms with similar meaning

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.

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