a drop in the bucket

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - a drop in the bucket

"a drop in the bucket"

an insufficient or inconsequential amount in comparison with what is required


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - a drop in the bucket

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  The boss said we need to generate two million dollars in new business by the end of the quarter.

Colleague 2:  I signed a new client yesterday.

Colleague 1:  How much was the contract for?

Colleague 2:  Five thousand dollars.

Colleague 1:  That is just a drop in the bucket.  We are going to need far more than that.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - a drop in the bucket

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  We need to find ways to save energy costs around the house.

Husband:  I agree. The electricity bill alone is huge.

Wife:  We could be careful to turn off lights that we are not using.

Husband:  That is a good idea but only a drop in the bucket. We need a bigger idea if we really want to save.

Wife:  I will stop using electricity during peak hours.

Husband:  That could help a lot.

a drop in the bucket - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   496   click for frequency by country

a drop in the bucket - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for a drop in the bucket.

a drop in the bucket - Examples:

1)  $70 million over three years for Indigenous mental health services is a drop in the bucket. It's far from enough. There are more than 600 First Nations communities.

2)  However, 196 houses is just a drop in the bucket when Auckland is already facing a shortfall of 40,000 homes.

3)  ... supposed Freshwater Improvement Fund of just $10 million a year is a drop in the bucket of what is needed to make our rivers safe for swimming.

4)  Rainier is asking for $218,000 for the cabin. That's a drop in the bucket for the park overall, though: It has a nearly $300 million maintenance backlog.

5)  ... hundred years covered by most of our family trees is only a drop in the bucket compared with the length of time the human race has existed or the 14 billion ...

6)  I wouldn't say it's a drop in the bucket, but there's a large part of the industry that will remain unaffected, ...

7)  ... that have recently poured into this style of investing are only a drop in the bucket in the nearly $25 trillion U.S. stock market.

8)  ... but one story in a newspaper is a drop in the bucket and shouldn't be the blueprint from where all understanding generates from.

9)  ... allow Iran to increase its production. The differential amounts to a drop in the bucket compared with the massive output from the world's two dominant producers.

10)  ... announced a $50,000 grant to help with repairs. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the more than $8 million needed.

11)  Nowadays ticket sales are a drop in the bucket compared to what is generated via selling media rights.

12)  ... to removing about 13,200 passenger cars from the road, is a drop in the bucket of the province's total carbon emissions, less than one tenth of one per cent.

13)  ... said the overall rise in R&D expenditure is just a drop in the bucket when the big picture is considered. 

14)  ... train staff how to use them. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the huge profits these people make.

15)  ... added to existing commitments to non-profit and co-op housing agreements remains a drop in the bucket of what is needed to create the 100,000 new affordable rental units the Canadian Housing ...

16)  It's a big deal for us although it's just a drop in the bucket for the federal government.

17)  A tax credit is a drop in the bucket against a 73-cent dollar.

18)  Smaller dams are being built but their capacity is a drop in the bucket compared to what the country needs.

19)  But, measured against the growing demand, even that was a drop in the bucket as there remains consensus on serious shortcomings in the delivery of health care.

20)  ... at the current rate of 0.5 percent, this figure was a drop in the bucket relative to its total income.