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A photomontage of what a whole iceberg might look like. The term tip of the iceberg refers to the fact that only a small portion of a floating iceberg is visible above the water line.

From the fact that floating icebergs typically have about nine-tenths of their volume below the surface of the water. Early 20th-century uses of the term are believed to have been influenced by the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic on 15 April 1912 after it struck an iceberg.[1]



tip of the iceberg (plural tips of icebergs or tips of the icebergs) (plural rare)

  1. (idiomatic) A small indication of a larger possibility; a problem that is much bigger than it seems.
    This is only the tip of the iceberg. Our time together can become much more exciting.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ iceberg, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, December 2012.

Further readingEdit