phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

The meaning and origin of the expression: Brevity is the soul of wit

Home > Phrase Dictionary - Meanings and Origins > Brevity is the soul of wit
Browse phrases beginning with:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T UV W XYZ - Full List


Brevity is the soul of wit

Meaning

There's no briefer way of expressing this thought than Shakespeare's; making further explanation redundant.

Origin

From Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1602:

LORD POLONIUS
This business is well ended.
My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.