Aphorisms Galore!

Ambrose Bierce

American author and journalist; b. 1842; d. 1913  ·  29 aphorisms  ·  no comments

Aphorisms Attributed to This Aphorist

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Comment#  ·   Fair (1016 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (743 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (1115 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (249 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The covers of this book are too far apart.

Ambrose Bierce, in Altruism and Cynicism

Comment#  ·   Fair (420 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997  · 

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (415 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.

Ambrose Bierce, in Wisdom and Ignorance

Comment#  ·   Fair (973 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Cannon: An instrument used in the rectification of national boundaries.

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (172 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum -- "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am."

Ambrose Bierce, in Wisdom and Ignorance

Comment#  ·   Fair (915 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, in Wealth and Poverty

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (427 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Coward: one who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.

Ambrose Bierce, in Vice and Virtue and War and Peace

Comment#  ·   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

Comment#  ·   Fair (460 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (1237 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (922 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (884 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (680 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (741 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

The Devil's Dictionary (paperback)

Comment#  ·   Fair (210 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Helpmate: A wife, or bitter half.

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

Comment#  ·   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

Comment#  ·   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

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