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a drop in the ocean (or North American bucket)

Definition of a drop in the ocean or North American bucket in English:

A very small amount compared with what is needed or expected: the £550 million saving is likely to be a drop in the ocean
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Still, it's a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the overall budget.
See parent entry: drop

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