|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|
|an arrangement of five objects, as trees, in a square or rectangle, one at each corner and one in the middle.|
|1.||a large mass of ice floating in the sea, esp a mass that has broken off a polar glacier|
|2.||tip of the iceberg the small visible part of something, esp a problem or difficulty, that is much larger|
|3.||slang chiefly (US) a person considered to have a cold or reserved manner|
|[C18: probably part translation of Middle Dutch ijsberg ice mountain; compare Norwegian isberg]|
|iceberg (īs'bûrg') Pronunciation Key
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A massive body of floating ice that has broken away from a glacier or ice field. Most of an iceberg lies underwater, but because ice is not as dense as water, about one ninth of it remains above the surface.
Only a hint or suggestion of a much larger or more complex issue or problem: “The money missing from petty cash was only the tip of the iceberg of financial mismanagement.” This phrase alludes to the fact that the bulk of a floating iceberg is concealed beneath the water, leaving only a small portion, its tip, visible above.
A large piece of ice that has broken away from a glacier at the shore and floated out to sea.
Note: Most of the ice in an iceberg is underwater, leaving only the “tip of the iceberg” visible — a fact that is often alluded to in discussions of subjects in which the most important aspects are hidden from view.
tip of the iceberg
Superficial evidence of a much larger problem, as in Laying off a hundred workers is only the tip of the iceberg. This idiom alludes to the structure of an iceberg, most of whose bulk lies underwater. [Mid-1900s]