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.”
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Example sentences from the Web for drop in the bucket
France 24 is providing live, round-the-clock coverage of both scenes as they progress.
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During an emergency that ratio could be allowed to drop to 8.5 people per orbit.Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says|Dave Majumdar|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
This is a guy who has his son-in-law clean his eyeglasses, for crying out loud.
Before he could finish the sentence the Hole-keeper said snappishly, "Well, drop out again—quick!"Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl
Sleek finds it far harder work than fortune-making; but he pursues his Will-o'-the-Wisp with untiring energy.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
At a quarter past seven he took his leave and we let drop our anchor where we were, off Cape Tekke.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
Such throats are trying, are they not?In case one catches cold; Ah, yes!
Now and then he touched one with his long and sallow fingers, lifted its cover, then let it drop mechanically.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens