Quotes by Ambrose Bierce

When you doubt, abstain.
- Ambrose Bierce
Doubt is the father of invention.
- Ambrose Bierce
Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.
- Ambrose Bierce
Check our mobile app on:
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
- Ambrose Bierce
Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
- Ambrose Bierce
Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.
- Ambrose Bierce
The covers of this book are too far apart.
- Ambrose Bierce
Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.
- Ambrose Bierce
A man is known by the company he organizes.
- Ambrose Bierce
Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
- Ambrose Bierce
Follow us on:
Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
- Ambrose Bierce
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
- Ambrose Bierce
Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
- Ambrose Bierce
Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
- Ambrose Bierce
Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
- Ambrose Bierce
Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
- Ambrose Bierce
Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
- Ambrose Bierce
Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.
- Ambrose Bierce
Life - a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
- Ambrose Bierce
Erudition - dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
- Ambrose Bierce
To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.
- Ambrose Bierce
Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends.
- Ambrose Bierce
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
- Ambrose Bierce
Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
- Ambrose Bierce
Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.
- Ambrose Bierce
Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
- Ambrose Bierce
Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
- Ambrose Bierce
Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
- Ambrose Bierce
Prejudice - a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
- Ambrose Bierce
The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.
- Ambrose Bierce
Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
- Ambrose Bierce
Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
- Ambrose Bierce
To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
- Ambrose Bierce
Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
- Ambrose Bierce
Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
- Ambrose Bierce
Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.
- Ambrose Bierce
Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
- Ambrose Bierce
Fidelity - a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
- Ambrose Bierce
Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
- Ambrose Bierce
Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
- Ambrose Bierce
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
- Ambrose Bierce
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
- Ambrose Bierce
Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
- Ambrose Bierce
Consult: To seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.
- Ambrose Bierce
Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.
- Ambrose Bierce
Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.
- Ambrose Bierce
Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
- Ambrose Bierce
Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
- Ambrose Bierce
Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
- Ambrose Bierce
Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.
- Ambrose Bierce
Rum, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.
- Ambrose Bierce
An egotist is a person of low taste - more interested in himself than in me.
- Ambrose Bierce
Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
- Ambrose Bierce
Abscond - to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
- Ambrose Bierce
Confidante: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
- Ambrose Bierce
Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
- Ambrose Bierce
Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
- Ambrose Bierce
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
- Ambrose Bierce
Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
- Ambrose Bierce
Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
- Ambrose Bierce
Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
- Ambrose Bierce
Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.
- Ambrose Bierce
Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
- Ambrose Bierce
Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
- Ambrose Bierce
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
- Ambrose Bierce
Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
- Ambrose Bierce
Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
- Ambrose Bierce
Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce
We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.
- Ambrose Bierce
There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
- Ambrose Bierce
Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
- Ambrose Bierce
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
- Ambrose Bierce
Optimism - the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
- Ambrose Bierce
Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.
- Ambrose Bierce
Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
- Ambrose Bierce
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
- Ambrose Bierce
Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
- Ambrose Bierce
Duty - that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
- Ambrose Bierce
Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.
- Ambrose Bierce
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
- Ambrose Bierce
Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
- Ambrose Bierce
Spring beckons! All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
- Ambrose Bierce
Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
- Ambrose Bierce
Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
- Ambrose Bierce
Incompatibility. In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.
- Ambrose Bierce
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.
- Ambrose Bierce
Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
- Ambrose Bierce
Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.
- Ambrose Bierce
Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
- Ambrose Bierce
Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
- Ambrose Bierce
Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
- Ambrose Bierce
The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
- Ambrose Bierce
Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
- Ambrose Bierce
Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.
- Ambrose Bierce
Wit - the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
- Ambrose Bierce
Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
- Ambrose Bierce
Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
- Ambrose Bierce
It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.
- Ambrose Bierce
Convent - a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.
- Ambrose Bierce
I never said all Democrats were saloonkeepers. What I said was that all saloonkeepers are Democrats.
- Ambrose Bierce
Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.
- Ambrose Bierce
Amnesty, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
- Ambrose Bierce
Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
- Ambrose Bierce
Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.
- Ambrose Bierce
Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.
- Ambrose Bierce
Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
- Ambrose Bierce

Quotes Categories