Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

the devil is in the detail(s)

the devil is in the detailthe devil is in the details
Meaning(s)
1) the small individual parts or details of something may cause the most problems or difficulties
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional MediumSocial
    • when negotiating, the devil is in the detail
  • Analysis
    This idiom is used to express that even seemingly small or irrelevant details of something, such as a plan, task, or design if overlooked, can result in unforeseen problems or difficulties in the future. These negative repercussions can be avoided if someone were to take the time or make the extra effort necessary to examine all aspects of something. The expression can be used in either a social or professional context but is much more common in the latter. A similar expression is 'the fine print,' or its alternative form, 'the small print.'
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. Whenever I try to bake something, I find that the devil is in the detail. Miss one small part of the process and it can all go wrong.
    2. The devil is in the detail when it comes to home decorating. Small touches contribute to the overall ambience in your home.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. The plan seemed straightforward, but there were a number of unforeseen complications that arose when it was put into action. The devil is in the details.
    2. When it comes to getting a deal over the line, the devil is in the detail. You must read through the small print very carefully. 
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