the tip of the iceberg

noun phrase

: a small part of something (such as a problem) that is seen or known about when there is a much larger part that is not seen or known about
The news is shocking, but we may find out that the stories we've heard so far are just the tip of the iceberg.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Murder charges 'the tip of the iceberg' The counts the suspects face are for the four fatalities, Segrest said. Marty Roney, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2023 The meme-worthy spectacle of private planes stretching ad nauseum down the runway is just the tip of the iceberg, and but one of several tells signifying what kind of event this really is. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 14 Apr. 2023 Chicken parm is just the tip of the iceberg at the latest, but hopefully not the last, Caruso’s Grocery. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'the tip of the iceberg.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near the tip of the iceberg


the tip of the iceberg


Cite this Entry

“The tip of the iceberg.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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