half a loaf is better than none


Alternative formsEdit


half a loaf is better than none

  1. Possession or attainment of a partial object, achievement, result, etc., is preferable to having no object, achievement, or result at all.
    • 1912, Fergus Hume, chapter 1, in A Son of Perdition:
      "I have the beginnings of genius," he finally decided, "that is, I can see for myself, but I cannot pass the vision on to others by production."
      "Half a loaf is better than none," said Miss Enistor soothingly.
    • 1914, Peter B. Kyne, chapter 16, in The Long Chance:
      "I'm a business man, and I tell you before you're half through with this fight, you'll come to the conclusion that half a loaf is better than none at all—particularly in the matter of extra large loaves. You'll come to me and compromise."
    • 1983 Feb. 10, Francis X. Clines, "Reagan's wish is no minimum wage for youths," New York Times (retrieved 6 March 2014):
      "There are some people," he said, "who would have you so stand on principle that if you don't get all that you've asked for from the legislature, why you jump off the cliff with the flag flying." Mr. Reagan said that "a half a loaf is better than none" and that unyielding critics had "misread" his tactics.
    • 2010 June 17, Michael Scherer, "The President's Spill Speech: The Target Audiences," Time (retrieved 6 March 2014):
      Audience: Green groups
      Obama's Pitch: Sometimes half a loaf is better than no loaf at all.


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