the tip of the iceberg

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - the tip of the iceberg

"the tip of the iceberg"

there is more to a situation than one can see at the moment;

the smallest, evident part of something that is much greater but hidden from view


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - the tip of the iceberg

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Instituting a customer loyalty program was a really good idea. The data we have collected is extremely useful. We can send birthday greetings on customers' birthdays. We can track when their products might need renewal and repair.

Colleague 2: And those are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other possibilities if we mine the data correctly. For instance, we could start relating timing and product purchase to the progression of our customers' lives.

Colleague 1: I agree that there is a great deal of potential that we can't even see yet.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - the tip of the iceberg

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Have you been following the news about this bank thief the police have been looking for?

Friend 2: The police arrested the man they thought was guilty of the robbery. While they had him in jail, they began to uncover information that linked him to many of the robberies that had taken place over the last few years. This latest robbery was just the tip of the iceberg.

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the tip of the iceberg - Usage:


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the tip of the iceberg - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for the tip of the iceberg.

the tip of the iceberg - Examples:

1)  ... so much more experience. It's just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg.

2)  The problems of Li Ning and the sportswear industry are just the tip of the iceberg in China. Across virtually all corporate sectors, inventories are excessive. 

3)  I myself have just scraped the tip of the iceberg and have a lot to practice yet. 

4)  Lions, tigers and bears are just the tip of the iceberg at this world-renowned zoo, home to nearly 400 species.

5)  The economic problems faced by the European Union are the tip of the iceberg of unresolved structural problems that is facing the entire world economy.

6)  ... and the regulators may have gotten only the tip of the iceberg. Readers have told me this sort of manipulation dates from at least 2001; ...

7)  Some of these are good ideas that only scratch the tip of the iceberg. All of them are systems waiting to be hacked and exploited.

8)  ... we have seen maybe 10 percent of you -- just the visible tip of the iceberg, not the 90 percent that is still submerged. 

9)  Notwithstanding this, explorations continue, so this could be only the tip of the iceberg.

10)  I have the feeling it's only the tip of the iceberg. I fear they are holding far worse over his head to force him to ...

11)  I can assure you, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Do some research and you will find the entire data dump on pastebin.

12)  The iconic images of oiled seabirds are just the tip of the iceberg, because oil spills affect life up and down the food chain. 

13)  These people are all crooks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have four years of this stuff to look forward to.

14)  This is not even the tip of the iceberg - there are even more attacks that are not recorded anywhere.

15)  World class technology is only the tip of the iceberg at Google. Google wants to change the world for the better in very fundamental ...

16)  ... side note, these very simple CSS reset methods are just the tip of the iceberg in the ocean of possibilities on the subject.

17)  And that's just the tip of the iceberg; Joe goes over so many issues in this book it's mind boggling.

18)  Those roads are just the tip of the iceberg with regard to our needs and I could probably fill a dozen pages with links ...

19)  These new possibilities are the tip of the iceberg. New kinds of experiences can be expressed and shared that were never possible ...

20)   This latest scandal in the government is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m convinced that there is much more corruption than what has been uncovered so far.