Definition of a drop in the ocean (or North Americanbucket) in English:

a drop in the ocean (or North Americanbucket)

phrase

  • A very small amount compared with what is needed or expected:

    ‘the £550 million saving is likely to be a drop in the ocean’
    • ‘Still, it's a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the overall budget.’
    • ‘Recall that sales at Whole Foods were $3 billion in 2003 - a drop in the bucket compared with the $900 billion Americans spent on food in 2002.’
    • ‘That's a drop in the bucket compared with the knowledge stored in the world's libraries.’
    • ‘Although she was pleased with the £25 increase in child benefit, she felt it was a drop in the ocean when compared to childcare costs and the expense of rearing children.’
    • ‘The public knows this is a drop in the bucket compared with what's needed.’
    • ‘And the money is just a drop in the ocean compared with the real cost of restoring the county's roads, according to opposition councillors.’
    • ‘It is a drop in the ocean compared with the overall cost of the policing operation.’
    • ‘In any case, the incentives a government could reasonably offer are a drop in the ocean compared with the total cost of raising a child.’
    • ‘Even so, the amount of money is still a drop in the bucket when compared to the size of the growing global mental health epidemic.’
    • ‘‘This is just a drop in the ocean compared to what will happen in Scotland, as our pubs have always been less profitable than Irish pubs,’ he said.’