devil is in the details

English edit

Etymology edit

In allusion to God is in the detail.

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)

Proverb edit

(the) devil is in the details

  1. (idiomatic) The specific provisions of, or particular steps for implementing, a general plan, policy, or contract may be complicated, controversial, or unworkable.
    • 1965, Newsweek, volume 65, page 173:
      Krupp already has an agreement in principle for the deal, but precise details are still being worked out by Polish officials and a Krupp bargaining team ("The devil is in the details," Beitz says).
    • 1998 December 16, Alain L. Sanders, “Israel: Let the People Speak”, in Time[1], archived from the original on 8 April 2009:
      The country has developed a strong consensus for peace, but the devil is in the details over what concessions should be made.
    • 2023 May 16, Cecilia Kang, quoting Sarah Myers West, “OpenAI’s Sam Altman Urges A.I. Regulation in Senate Hearing”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      “The devil will be in the details,” said Sarah Myers West, managing director of AI Now Institute, a policy research center.

Usage notes edit

Detail as a mass noun is also used instead of details:

The devil is in the detail.

Translations edit