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Related to Oceans: Continents

drop in the bucket

A tiny amount, especially when compared to a much larger one. I'm glad Tony started repaying the money he borrowed from me, but the five dollars he gave me yesterday is just a drop in the bucket compared to what he still owes.
See also: bucket, drop

drop in the ocean

A tiny amount, especially when compared to a much larger one. I'm glad Tony started repaying the money he borrowed from me, but the five dollars he gave me yesterday is just a drop in the ocean compared to what he still owes.
See also: drop, ocean

drop in the bucket

 and a drop in the ocean
Fig. an in significant contribution toward solving a large problem. Jane: We need to stop spending so much. Alan: OK. I'll buy a cheaper brand of toothpaste. Jane: But that's just a drop in the bucket. Many companies donated food and medicine to help the survivors of the earthquake, but it was just a drop in the ocean of what was needed.
See also: bucket, drop

oceans of someone or something

 and an ocean of someone or something
a very large amount of something. The naughty student was in oceans of trouble. After a week of vacation, there was an ocean of work to do.
See also: ocean, of

drop in the bucket

A very small quantity, especially one that is too small. For example, These contributions are just a drop in the bucket; the new church wing will cost thousands more . John Wycliffe's followers used this seemingly modern phrase in their translation of the Bible (1382), and it also appears in the 1611 King James version (Isaiah 40:15): "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance."
See also: bucket, drop

a drop in the ocean


a drop in the bucket

COMMON If something, especially an amount of money, is a drop in the ocean, it is very small in comparison with the amount which is needed or expected. The size of the grants have been attacked by welfare groups as merely a drop in the ocean. The amount of mercury would be minuscule, a drop in the bucket compared to natural sources such as bacteria in soils. Note: This expression may come from a line in the Bible: `Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance.' (Isaiah 40:15)
See also: drop, ocean

a drop in the ocean (or in a bucket)

a very small amount compared with what is needed or expected.
1995 Ian Rankin Let It Bleed A few million was a drop in the ocean, hardly a ripple.
See also: drop, ocean

a ˌdrop in the ˈocean

(British English) (American English a ˌdrop in the ˈbucket) a very small amount in comparison to the much larger amount that is needed: $10 million is only a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed to help these people effectively.
See also: drop, ocean

an ocean of something

(British English also oceans of something) (informal) a large amount of something: oceans of food
See also: ocean, of, something

boil the ocean

tv. to waste one’s time attempting to do the impossible. (see also plowing water.) You’re wasting my time. You might as well be boiling the ocean.
See also: boil, ocean

drop in the bucket

A small, inadequate quantity.
See also: bucket, drop

spit in the ocean

An inconsequential amount. The image is a single expelled moist mouthful being nothing compared to the entirely watery content of the Atlantic or Pacific. A similar phrase is “a drop in the bucket.”
See also: ocean, spit
References in classic literature ?
The reports published by them of their expedition demonstrated the practicability of establishing a line of communication across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
So the theory is that the channel between Gibraltar and Africa was once dry land, and that the low, neutral neck between Gibraltar and the Spanish hills behind it was once ocean, and of course that these African animals, being over at Gibraltar (after rock, perhaps--there is plenty there), got closed out when the great change occurred.
His poetry is all very well on shipboard, notwithstanding when he wrote an "Ode to the Ocean in a Storm" in one half hour, and an "Apostrophe to the Rooster in the Waist of the Ship" in the next, the transition was considered to be rather abrupt; but when he sends an invoice of rhymes to the Governor of Fayal and another to the commander in chief and other dignitaries in Gibraltar with the compliments of the Laureate of the Ship, it is not popular with the passengers.
With the coming of dawn the clouds beneath us became a glorious sea of gold and silver, soft and beautiful; but they could not deceive us as to the blackness and the terrors of the storm-lashed ocean which they hid.
There appeared in the papers caricatures of every gigantic and imaginary creature, from the white whale, the terrible "Moby Dick" of sub-arctic regions, to the immense kraken, whose tentacles could entangle a ship of five hundred tons and hurry it into the abyss of the ocean.
But that which might have appeared motionless to ordinary eyes was moving at a quick rate to the experienced eye of the sailor; that which appeared stationary upon the ocean was cutting a rapid way through it.
From the nature of the vegetation I was convinced that the land between the ocean and the foothills was swampy, though directly before me it seemed dry enough all the way to the sandy strip along which the restless waters advanced and retreated.
Could they have reached either the canoe or the Kincaid they would have made short work of any whom they found there, but the gulf of black water intervening shut them off from farther advance as effectually as though it had been the broad ocean that separated them from their prey.
Came a stretch of ocean that to Daughtry was like all other stretches of ocean and unidentifiable from them.
As the noise of the troubled ocean when roll the waves on high, as the last peal of thunder in heaven, such is the din of war.
The wind blew hard and joggled the water of the ocean, sending ripples across its surface.
And again the goddess murky Night, though she lay with none, bare Blame and painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean.
The spot where the projectile sank under the waves was exactly known; but the machinery to grasp it and bring it to the surface of the ocean was still wanting.
This fact is in perfect accordance with the geological history of the Andes; for these mountains have existed as a great barrier since the present races of animals have appeared; and therefore, unless we suppose the same species to have been created in two different places, we ought not to expect any closer similarity between the organic beings on the opposite sides of the Andes than on the opposite shores of the ocean.
He was building a little boat with which to cross the ocean.