a drop in the ocean
Meaning: If an amount is a drop in the ocean, it's a very small portion of the amount that's needed.
- Our government's sending a thousand tons of food, but that's just a drop in the ocean compared to what's needed.
- I know twenty dollars is just a drop in the ocean, but if everyone gave that much it'd make a big difference.
Variety: This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
If something is described as being a drop in the ocean, it is