Top 156 Ambrose Bierce Quotes

Last Updated on

“Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Alliance – in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Life – a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Experience – the wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Edible – good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Curiosity, n. An objectionable quality of the female mind. The desire to know whether or not a woman is cursed with curiosity is one of the most active and insatiable passions of the masculine soul.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Immortality: A toy which people cry for, And on their knees apply for, Dispute, contend and lie for, And if allowed Would be right proud Eternally to die for.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Clairvoyant, n.: A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron – namely, that he is a blockhead.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Consult: To seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth – two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Insurance – an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them. It’s one of the curses of London.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Suffrage, noun. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man’s choice, and is highly prized.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Spring beckons! All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Eloquence, n. The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is – it is her shadow.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Perseverance – a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Optimism – the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Doubt is the father of invention.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Rum, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Forgetfulness – a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Fidelity – a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one’s own opinion.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Land: A part of the earth’s surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Impartial – unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Amnesty, n. The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Erudition – dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Confidante: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment of the truth.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Friendless. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“An egotist is a person of low taste – more interested in himself than in me.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Wit – the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.”

― Ambrose Bierce

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

― Ambrose Bierce

“Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Liberty: One of Imagination’s most precious possessions.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“When you doubt, abstain.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one’s voice.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one’s bread to determine which side it is buttered on.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Genius – to know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Eulogy. Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Incompatibility. In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Sabbath – a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Prescription: A physician’s guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“The covers of this book are too far apart.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“I never said all Democrats were saloonkeepers. What I said was that all saloonkeepers are Democrats.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Destiny: A tyrant’s authority for crime and a fool’s excuse for failure.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one’s voice.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Genealogy, n. An account of one’s descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can’t find you.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Alien – an American sovereign in his probationary state.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Dog – a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Historian – a broad-gauge gossip.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“A man is known by the company he organizes.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Duty – that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Abscond – to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Prejudice – a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Irreligion – the principal one of the great faiths of the world.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Consul – in American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Convent – a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.”

― Ambrose Bierce

“Enthusiasm – a distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.”

― Ambrose Bierce
Quotes You Will Also Love:  Top 14 Briga Heelan Quotes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
0 Shares
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap