the half is better than the whole

A proverb advising economy or restraint. Cf. HESIOD Works & Days 40 πλέον ἥμισυ παντός, half is more than the whole.

1550 H. LATIMER Sermon before King’s Majesty G3 Ther is a proverbe..Dimidium plus toto: The halfe somtymes more then the hole. The meane lyfe is the best lyfe and the most quyet lyfe of al.

1828 I. DISRAELI Curiosities of Literature 2nd ser. 1.419 The half is better than the whole.

1906 A. C. BENSON From College Window v. It is true of conversation as of many other things, that the half is better than the whole. People who are fond of talking ought to beware of being lengthy.

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