a stitch in time saves nine

The proverb was originally a couplet. The number nine was apparently introduced fancifully for the sake of assonance.

1732 T. FULLER Gnomologia no. 6291 A Stitch in Time May save nine.

1797 F. BAILY Journal 30 Apr. (1856) 268 After a little while we acquired a method of keeping her [a boat] in the middle of the stream, by watching the moment she began to vary, and thereby verifying the vulgar proverb, ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’

1868 READE & BOUCICAULT Foul Play I. ix. Repairing the ship. Found a crack or two in her inner skin... A stitch in time saves nine.

1979 Homes & Gardens June 105 Looking after oneself is like looking after a house: a stitch in time...


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • stitch in time saves nine — A stitch in time saves nine means that if a job needs doing it is better to do it now, because it will only get worse, like a hole in clothes that requires stitching …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • stitch in time saves nine —    A stitch in time saves nine means that if a job needs doing it is better to do it now, because it will only get worse, like a hole in clothes that requires stitching.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Stitch in time saves nine —   A stitch in time saves nine means that if a job needs doing it is better to do it now, because it will only get worse, like a hole in clothes that requires stitching …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • a stitch in time saves nine — proverb if you sort out a problem immediately it may save a lot of extra work later * * * a stitch in time (saves nine) ◇ The phrase a stitch in time (saves nine) means that it is better to fix a problem when it is small than to wait and let it… …   Useful english dictionary

  • (a) stitch in time (saves nine) — a stitch in time (saves nine) spoken phrase used for saying that it is better to solve a problem now, rather than leave it until later when it may be more difficult to deal with Thesaurus: to try to deal with a problem or difficultysynonym… …   Useful english dictionary

  • (a) stitch in time saves nine. — A stitch in time (saves nine). something that you say which means it is better to deal with a problem early before it gets too bad. If you don t repair the oil leak now, you might damage the whole engine. It s a case of a stitch in time …   New idioms dictionary

  • a stitch in time saves nine — ► a stitch in time saves nine proverb if you sort out a problem immediately it may save a lot of extra work later. Main Entry: ↑stitch …   English terms dictionary

  • a stitch in time saves nine — a small repair may prevent a large repair    I believe in maintenance. A stitch in time saves nine …   English idioms

  • stitch in time — a timely action or remedy a stitch in time saves nine …   Useful english dictionary

  • a stitch in time — ( ● stitch * * * a stitch in time (saves nine) ◇ The phrase a stitch in time (saves nine) means that it is better to fix a problem when it is small than to wait and let it become a bigger problem. • • • Main Entry: ↑stitch a stitch in time (saves …   Useful english dictionary

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