perfect is the enemy of good


Alternative formsEdit


Variant of the older the best is the enemy of the good, popularized by Voltaire in French as le mieux est l'ennemi du bien,[1] itself a translation of the Italian proverb il meglio è nemico del bene.[2]


perfect is the enemy of good

  1. Insistence on perfection often precludes the opportunity for something worthwhile.
  2. Insistence on perfection precludes gradual improvement through compromises.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Voltaire (1772), “La Bégueule [The Prissy]”, in Contes en vers (in French): “Dans ses écrits un sage Italien / Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”
  2. ^ Voltaire (1764), “Art dramatique”, in Dictionnaire philosophique (in French), published 1878: “C’est bien ici qu’on peut dire : Il meglio è l’inimico del bene”

Further readingEdit