devil is in the details

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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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]:
      The country has developed a strong consensus for peace, but the devil is in the details over what concessions should be made.

Usage notes[edit]

"Detail" as a mass noun is also used instead of "details" - The devil is in the detail.

Translations[edit]