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Collection of One-Liner Quotes

Updated on November 14, 2020
Colleen Swan profile image

Colleen, a lover of the written word, has a master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes.



One liner quotes are generally aphorisms, a single sentence of less than a dozen words not counting one and two letter words such as (a, I, O, it, is, of, at, in). The comma used as a pause, and the semi-colon to break elements are kept to a minimum. The following quotes have been listed randomly.

The Quotes

♠ Prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support. Ambrose Bierce

♠ To disdain today is to prove that yesterday has been misunderstood. Maurice Maeterlinck

♠ Dust are our frames; and, gilded dust, our pride, looks only for a moment whole and sound. Alfred Lord Tennyson

♠ Debauchery is perhaps an act of despair in the face of infinity. Edmond and Jules De Concourt

♠ We torment ourselves rather to make it appear that we are happy than to become so. La Rochefoucauld

♠ Everything has two handles, one by which it may be born, another by which it cannot. Epictetus

♠ As a dimension of man, rebellion actually defines him. Robert Lindner

♠ Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone. Octavio


♣ It is a lesson which history teaches wise men; to put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances. Emerson

♣ The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it. Pascal

♣ This is the great vice of academicism; that it is concerned with ideas rather than with thinking. Lionel Trilling

♣ Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

♣ Learning is the property of those who fear to do disagreeable things. Pietro Aretino

♣ Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. Adam Smith

♣ To know that one has a secret is to know half the secret itself. Henry Ward Beecher

♣ The protected man doesn't need luck; therefore it seldom visits him. Alan Harrington


♥ Principle never forgives and its logic is to kill. Jacques Barzun

♥ By touching you may kill, by keeping away you may possess. Rabindranath Tagore

♥ A wise reserve seasons the aims and matures the means. Baltasar Gracian

♥ Every man is the son of his own works. Cervantes

♥ No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt

♥ Self-knowledge is a dangerous thing, tending to make man shallow or insane. Karl Shapiro

♥ He who never says “no” is no true man. Saint Exupery

♥ A man must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere. Charles F. Kettering

♥ Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble. Samuel Johnson


♦ Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. William Faulkner

♦ To live on in the hearts we leave, is not to die. Thomas Campbell

♦ There is nothing so well known as that we should not expect something for nothing; but we all do and call it hope. Edgar Watson Howe

♦ Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. Dag Hammarskjold

♦ How ready we all are with our praises when a cake is to be divided, and it is not ours. Walter Savage Landor

♦ Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen. Jerome K. Jerome

♦ Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. Will Rogers

♦ If ignorance is indeed bliss, it is a very low grade of the article. Tehyi Hsieh


♠ Rob the average man of his life-illusion and you rob him of his happiness at one stroke. Henrik Ibsen

♠ When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Eric Hoffer

♠ If life were eternal all interest and anticipation would vanish. It is uncertainty which lends its fascination. Yoshida Kenko

♠ Imagination is more robust in proportion as reasoning power is weak. Giambattista Vico

♠ The desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it. Laurence Sterne

♠ Individualism is rather like innocence, there must be something unconscious about it. Louis Kronenberger

♠ That which deceives us and does us harm also undeceives us and does us good. Joseph Roux

♠ There are reproaches which praise, and praises which defame. La Rochefoucauld


♣ Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. Christopher Fry

♣ There are as many preferences as there are men. Horace

♣ We as often repent the good we have done as the ill. William Hazlitt

♣ The best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend. Francis Bacon

♣ Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Emerson

♣ The want of a thing is perplexing enough, but the possession of it is intolerable. Sir John Vanbrugh

♣ A calm despair, without angry convulsions or reproaches directed at heaven is the essence of wisdom. Alfred De Vigny

♣ Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Aristotle


♥ The idea of life having a purpose stands and falls with the religious system. Sigmund Freud

♥ Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; he who would search for pearls must dive below. John Drydon

♥ There can be no progress if people have no faith in tomorrow. John F. Kennedy

♥ A president's hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right. Lyndon B. Johnson

♥ I don't care anything about reasons, but I know what I like. Henry James

♥ The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Victor Hugo

♥ We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment; how many people can boast as much. Samuel Beckett

♥ When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully. Samuel Johnson


♦ Man is full of potentiality as he is of impotence. Santayana

♦ A touch of science, even bogus science, gives an edge to the superstitious tale. V. S. Pritchett

♦ There is, of course, a difference between what one seizes and what one really possesses. Pearl S. Buck

♦ He preaches well that lives well. Cervantes

♦ It's a fine thing to rise above pride, but you must have pride in order to do so. Georges Bernanos

♦ Reason cannot save us, nothing can; but reason can mitigate the cruelty of living. Philip Rieff

♦ A man who has nothing can whistle in a robber's face. Juvenal

♦ To rule is not so much a question of the heavy hand; rather the firm seat. Jose Ortega Y Gasset


♠ All oppressed people are authorized, whenever they can to rise and break their fetters. Henry Clay

♠ Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Henry J. Kaiser

♠ He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year. Leonardo Da Vinci

♠ The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. Emerson

♠ He knows nothing and he thinks he knows everything; which points clearly to a political career. George Bernard Shaw

♠ Every high degree of power always involves a corresponding degree of freedom from good and evil. Nietzsche

♠ Passions are spiritual rebels and raise sedition against the understanding. Ben Jonson

♠ It is easier to say original things than to reconcile with one another things already said. Vauvenargues


♣ It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy. Hesiod

♣ The man who obeys is nearly always better than the man who commands. Ernest Renan

♣ A mother never gets hit with a custard pie; Mothers-in-law- Yes. Mack Sennett

♣ The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately to defeat him. Russell Baker

♣ That which comes into the world to disturb nothing deserves neither respect nor patience. Rene Char

♣ There is no one so bound to his own face that he does not cherish the hope of presenting another to the world. Antonio Machado

♣ Few have greater riches than the joy that comes to us in visions, in dreams which nobody can take away. Euripides

♣ Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence. Robert A. Heinlein


♦ No man is good for anything who has not some particle of obstinacy to use upon occasion. Henry Ward Beecher

♦ No one is so old that he does not think he could live another year. Cicero

♦ Truth is one forever absolute, but opinion is truth filtered through the moods, the blood, the disposition of the spectator. Wendell Phillips

♦ I respect only those who resist me, but I cannot tolerate them. Charles De Gaulle

♦ One day everything will be well, that is our hope; everything's fine today, that is our illusion. Voltaire

♦ Symmetry is ennui, and ennui is the very essence of grief and melancholy. Despair yawns. Victor Hugo

♦ All good things which exist are the fruits of originality. John Stuart Mill

♦ There is no greater hindrance to the progress of thought than an attitude of irritated party-spirit. Alfred North Whitehead


♠ Passions destroy more prejudices than philosophy does. Denis Diderot

♠ Many wars have been avoided by patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste. Adlai Stevenson

♠ People who have no weaknesses are terrible; there is no way of taking advantage of them. Anatole France

♠ Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death. Erik H. Erikson

♠ Sudden glory is the passion which make those grimaces called laughter. Thomas Hobbes

♠ The secret of education is respecting the pupil. Emerson

♠ Nobody expects to find comfort and companion-ability in reformers. Heywood Broun

♠ A dog is not considered good because of his barking, and a man is not considered clever because of his ability to talk. Chuang Tzu


♣ So many worlds, so much to do; so little done, such things to be. Alfred Lord Tennyson

♣ One’s religion is whatever he is most interested in. J. M. Barrie

♣ Admire a little ship, but put your cargo in a big one. Hesiod

♣ The repentant say never a brave word; their resolve is mumbled in silence. Thoreau

♣ It is my heart that makes my songs, not I. Sara Teasdale

♣ It is a great sign of mediocrity to praise always moderately. Vauvenargues

♣ Prudence is sometimes stretched too far, until it blocks the road of progress. Tehyi Hsieh

♣ It is as proper to have pride in oneself as it is ridiculous to show it to others. La Rochefoucauld


♥ His cheek is his biographer; as long as he can blush. Emily Dickinson

♥ We perceive love when love begins and when it declines by our embarrassment when alone together. LA Bruyere

♥ The righteous one has no sense of humour. Bertolt Brecht

♥ Thought is the property of him who can entertain it, and of him who can adequately place it. Emerson

♥ Literature is a state of culture, poetry a state of grace, before and after culture. Juan Ramon Jimenez

♥ Those who are fond of setting things right, have no great objection to seeing them wrong. William Hazlitt

♥ The applause of a single human being is of great consequence. Samuel Johnson

♥ Pride is overestimation of oneself by reason of self-love. Spinoza


♦ Life is a great surprise, and I do not see why death should not be an even greater one. Vladimir Nabokov

♦ Men of principle are sure to be bold, but those who are bold may not always be men of principle. Confucius

♦ That sorrow which is the harbinger of joy is preferable to the joy which is followed by sorrow. Sadi

♦ Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. Publilius Syrus

♦ The purpose of propaganda is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. Aldous Huxley

♦ Let us prefer, let us not exclude. Joseph Roux

♦ There are places and moments in which one is so completely alone that one sees the world entire. Jules Renard

♦ It is the leisured, I have noticed, who rebel the most at an interruption of routine. Phyllis McGinley


♠ Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present. Albert Camus

♠ Strong men can always afford to be gentle. Only the weak are intent on “giving as good they get”. Elbert Hubbard

♠ There is repetition everywhere, and nothing is found only once in the world. Goethe

♠ Whoso be a man must be a nonconformist. Emerson

♠ Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration. H. L. Mencken

♠ Prejudice is the child of ignorance. William Hazlitt

♠ Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages. Samuel Johnson

♠ There is but a step between a proud man's glory and his disgrace. Publilius Syrus


♣ The revolutionary spirit is mighty convenient in that it frees one from all scruples. Joseph Conrad

♣ A mind all logic is like a knife all blade; it makes the hand bleed that uses it. Rabindranath Tagore

♣ Don't let that chip on your shoulder be your only reason for walking erect. James Thurber

♣ Everywhere the basis of principle is tradition. Oliver Wendell Holmes

♣ Progress imposes not only new possibilities for the future but new restrictions. Norbert Wiener

♣ Men like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend. Walter Savage Landor

♣ In troublesome times, nothing is more common than the alliance of audacious vice and turbulent virtue. Pierre Gaxotte

♣ Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers. Aldous Huxley


♥ Human reason needs only to will more strongly than fate, and she is fate. Thomas Mann

♥ Is not this the true romantic feeling; not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you. Thomas Wolfe

♥ Those that believe they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something. Aldous Huxley

♥ Intellectualism, though by no means confined to doubters, is often the sole piety of the skeptic. Richard Hofstadter

♥ Rumor travels faster, but it doesn't stay put as long as truth. Will Rogers

♥ It takes application, a fine sense of value, and a powerful community spirit for a people to have serious leisure. Paul Goodman

♥ I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing. Anais Nin

♥ A technical objection is the first refuge of a scoundrel. Heywood Broun


♦ Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force. Franklin D. Roosevelt

♦ No rule is so general, which admits not some exception. Robert Burton

♦ What is most contrary to salvation is not sin but habit. Charles Peguy

♦ Any fool can make a rule, and every fool will mind it. Thoreau

♦ Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it. George Santayana

♦ One man's pointlessness is another's barbed satire. Franklin P. Adams

♦ When one is subjected to stress; you need to remove it, not endure it. Thelma Cassidy

♦ Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone. Ella Wheeler Wilcox


♠ The trumpet does not more stun you by its loudness, than a whisper teases you by its provoking inaudibility. Charles Lamb

♠ A story has been thought to its conclusion when it has taken its worst possible turn. Friedrich Durrenmatt

♠ The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilisation. Emerson

♠ More trouble is caused in the world by indiscreet answers than by indiscreet questions. Sydney J. Harris

♠ Divine fires do not blaze each day, but an artist functions in their afterglow hoping for their recurrence. Ned Rorem

♠ A kingdom is embellished by the wise, and religion rendered illustrious by the pious. Sadi

♠ Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies. Elizabeth Bowen

♠ There is no beauty that is attractive without zest. Christian Dior


♣ Sin, guilt, and neurosis are one and the same; the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Henry Miller

♣ Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Jean Anouilh

♣ What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors. Tsang Sin

♣ Liberty means responsibility; which is why most men dread it. George Bernard Shaw

♣ I do not cut my life up into days but my days into lives, each day, each hour, an entire life. Juan Ramon Jimenez

♣ Our accepting what we are must always inhibit our being what we ought to be. John Fowles

♣ Never love with all your heart, it only ends in aching. Countee Cullen

♣ The anatomy of any myth is the anatomy of the men who believed in it and suffered by it. Murray Kempton


♥ Reminiscences make one feel so deliciously aged and sad. George Bernard Shaw

♥ Music is the sole domain in which man realizes the present. Igor Stravinsky

♥ The direction of the mind is more important than its progress. Joseph Joubert

♥ Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to be as mediocre as possible. Margaret Mead

♥ Lovers are commonly industrious to make themselves uneasy. Cervantes

♥ To die in agony upon a cross does not create a martyr, he must first will his own execution. Henrik Ibsen

♥ Acquisition means life to miserable mortals. Hesiod

♥ The army is a nation within a nation; it is a vice of our time. Alfred De Vigny


♦ Our memories are indexes consulted and then put back in disorder by authorities we do not control. Cyril Connolly

♦ Man is a mind betrayed, not served, by his organs. Edmond & Jules De Concourt

♦ Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror. Antonio Porchia

♦ An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. Elbert Hubbard

♦ Even the most foolish women are wise about men. Theodor Reik

♦ Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. Pascal

♦ A modest man is usually admired, if people ever hear of him. Edgar Watson Howe

♦ Naive you are if you believe life favours those who aren't naïve. Piet Hein


♠ One must choose in life, between making money and spending it; there's no time to do both. Edouard Bourdet

♠ Men are but children of a larger growth. John Dryden

♠ I have never seen greater monster or miracle in the world than myself. Montaigne

♠ A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Thomas Hardy

♠ We do not remember days but we remember moments. Cesare Pavese

♠ Mystics always hope that science will someday overtake them. Booth Tarkington

♠ Only he who is man enough will release the woman in woman. Nietzsche

♠ Mind is a most delicate evidence; not a soul has seen it yet. Richard Eberhart


♣ Nothing has more strength than dire necessity. Euripides

♣ There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everyone. Adlai Stevenson

♣ Music is edifying, for from time to time it sets the soul in operation. John Cage

♣ Want gave tongue, and, at her howl, sin awakened with a growl. James Russell Lowell

♣ Anonymity represents for many people a liberating even more than a threatening phenomenon. Harvey Cox

♣ Zen is a way of liberation, concerned not with discovering what is good bad advantageous; but what is. Alan Watts

♣ The posture of fortune's slave is one foot in the gravy and one foot in the grave. James Thurber

♣ Nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment. Nietzsche


♥ Anyone who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but rather his memory. Leonardo Da Vinci

♥ Wit is a treacherous dart with which it is possible to stab oneself in one's own back. Geoffrey Bocca

♥ There is no such thing as an old woman; if she loves, if she is good, then she will give a man a sense of the infinite. Jules Michelet

♥ Folly often goes beyond her bounds, but impudence knows none. Ben Jonson


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