more haste, less speed

The original meaning of speed in this proverb is ‘quickness in the performance of some action or operation’.

c 1350 Douce MS 52 no. 86 The more hast, the worse spede.

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs I. ii. A3v Moste tymes he seeth, the more haste the lesse speede.

1595 Locrine (1908) I. ii. My penne is naught; gentlemen, lend me a knife. I thinke the more haste the worst speed.

1705 E. WARD Hudibras Redivivus I. i. A mod’rate pace is best indeed. The greater hurry, the worse speed.

1887 BLACKMORE Spring-haven III. xi. Some days had been spent by the leisurely Dutchman in providing fresh supplies, and the stout bark’s favourite maxim seemed to be—‘the more haste the less speed.’

1919 S. J. WEYMAN Great House xxvii. Tell me the story from the beginning. And take time. More haste, less speed, you know.

1993 ‘C. AIRD’ Going Concern (1994) iv. 31 ‘Working against the clock doesn’t make for considered thought.’ ‘More haste, less speed,’ said Detective Constable Crosby helpfully.


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  • more haste less speed — haste makes waste/more haste less speed/ phrase used for saying that if you do something too quickly, you are likely to make mistakes Thesaurus: ways of telling someone not to hurrysynonym Main entry: haste …   Useful english dictionary

  • more haste, less speed — ► more haste, less speed proverb you make better progress with a task if you don t try to do it too quickly. Main Entry: ↑haste …   English terms dictionary

  • more haste, less speed — The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • more haste, less speed — proverb you make better progress with a task if you don t try to do it too quickly * * * ˌmore ˈhaste, ˌless ˈspeed idiom (BrE, saying) you will finish doing sth sooner if you do not try to do it too quickly because you will make fewer mistakes… …   Useful english dictionary

  • more haste less speed — don t act in haste, haste makes waste, acting too quickly brings poor results …   English contemporary dictionary

  • more haste, less speed —    The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • More haste, less speed —   The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • the more haste the less speed — haste makes waste …   English contemporary dictionary

  • haste — ► NOUN ▪ excessive speed or urgency of action. ● more haste, less speed Cf. ↑more haste, less speed ORIGIN Old French …   English terms dictionary

  • haste — [heıst] n [U] [Date: 1200 1300; : Old Frenc] 1.) great speed in doing something, especially because you do not have enough time = ↑hurry ▪ I soon regretted my haste. in your haste to do sth ▪ In his haste to leave, he forgot his briefcase. 2.) in …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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