tip of the iceberg

noun phrase

Definition of tip of the iceberg

: the earliest, most obvious, or most superficial manifestation of some phenomenon

First Known Use of tip of the iceberg

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tip of the iceberg

from an iceberg being mostly submerged

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tip of the iceberg

Dictionary Entries near tip of the iceberg

tipman

tip moth

tip-off

tip of the iceberg

tip-on

tip one's cap/hat

tiponi

Statistics for tip of the iceberg

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tip of the iceberg

The first known use of tip of the iceberg was in 1969

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on tip of the iceberg

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tip of the iceberg

Comments on tip of the iceberg

What made you want to look up tip of the iceberg? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

self-evident

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!