an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept

A number of proverbs similar in form are illustrated below. An ounce used figuratively for ‘a small quantity’ is found in 1567 W. CECIL Letter in C. Read Mr. Secretary Cecil (1955) xxi. Marry [to be sure], an ounce of advice is more worth to be executed aforehand than in the sight of perils. Quot. 2002 suggests some convergence between this saying and prevention is better than cure.

c 1576 T. WHYTHORNE Autobiography (1961) 142 I ment not to be on of thoz who waith [esteems] A chip of chauns [luck] mor then A pownds wurth of witt.

1592 G. DELAMOTHE French Alphabet II. 55 An ounce of discretion, is better worth, then a pound of hardinesse [audacity].

1616 T. ADAMS Sacrifice of Thankfulness 19 The prouerbe is true; an Ounce of Discretion, is worth a pound of Learning.

1748 J. ELIOT Essays upon Field Husbandry 12 It used to be the Saying of an old Man, That an Ounce of Experience is better than a Pound of Science.

1866 BLACKMORE Cradock Nowell II. ix. Remember that rigid probity, and the strictest punctuality..are the very soul of business, and that an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept.

1925 J. GALSWORTHY Caravan 667 ‘Define it [Beauty], Mr. Vaness.’ ‘An ounce of fact is worth a ton of theory.—It stands before me.’

1981 P. O’DONNELL Xanadu Talisman ix. She said rather primly, ‘An ounce of wisdom is worth a pound of wit.’

2002 Washington Times 5 Apr. A20 Yet, if the IRS is attempting to reduce the incidence of obesity,..shouldn’t it permit deduction for activities and products that prevent one from becoming obese in the first place? After all, an ounce of prevention could be worth a literal pound of cure.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • worth — see the worth of a thing is what it will bring a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush a king’s chaff is worth more than other men’s corn an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept a peck of March dust is worth a king’s ransom …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • precept — see example is better than precept an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • pound — see in for a penny, in for a pound an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves penny wise and pound foolish …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • ounce — see an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • practice — see practice makes perfect an ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept practise what you preach …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.