Aphorisms Galore!

Ambrose Bierce

American author and journalist; b. 1842; d. 1913

Aphorisms Attributed to This Aphorist

tiny.ag/sp9ytcxh  ·   Fair (420 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Law and Politics

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The covers of this book are too far apart.

Ambrose Bierce, in Altruism and Cynicism

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Riot: A popular entertainment given to the military by innocent bystanders.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in War and Peace

tiny.ag/l3yahg9k  ·   Fair (743 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Health and Disease and Life and Death

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Pray: To ask that the laws of the universe be nullified on behalf of a single petitioner, admittedly unworthy.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Science and Religion

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Happiness: An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Love and Hate and Success and Failure

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Politeness: The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Altruism and Cynicism

tiny.ag/imyvlox8  ·   Fair (481 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Misfortune: The kind of fortune that never misses.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Success and Failure

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Love: A temporary insanity cureable either by marriage or by removal of the influences under which he incurred the disorder. It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than the patient.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Love and Hate

tiny.ag/6kh8ljvj  ·   Fair (163 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Knowledge is the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify.

Ambrose Bierce, in Wisdom and Ignorance

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It has been observed that one's nose is never so happy as when it is thrust into the affairs of another, from which some physiologists have drawn the inference that the nose is devoid of the sense of smell.

Ambrose Bierce, in Vice and Virtue

tiny.ag/rfa7bnoi  ·   Fair (382 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Incompatibility: In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Love and Hate

tiny.ag/vkpbru1q  ·   Fair (292 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, "patriotism" is defined as the last resort of the scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.

Ambrose Bierce, in Law and Politics

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Helpmate: A wife, or bitter half.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Love and Hate

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Hatred: A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's superiority.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Love and Hate and Success and Failure

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Science and Religion

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The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Eulogy: Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Altruism and Cynicism

tiny.ag/vr4hxjva  ·   Fair (1237 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Egoist: A person of low taste, more interested in themselves than in me.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Altruism and Cynicism

tiny.ag/yfqykgpj  ·   Fair (460 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the fool their lack of understanding.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Wisdom and Ignorance

tiny.ag/zcjracxo  ·   Fair (259 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Diplomacy: The patriotic art of lying for one's country.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Law and Politics