where there is a will there is a way
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ʍɛə ˌðɛəɹ ɪz ə ˈwɪl ðɛəɹ ɪz ə ˈweɪ/, /wɛə-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ʍɛɚ ˌðɛɚ ɪz ə ˈwɪl ðɛɚ ɪz ə ˈweɪ/, /wɛɚ-/
where there is a will there is a way
- If someone wants or wills something strongly enough, a way can be found to make it happen.
- 1724, Pharmacopolæ Justificati: Or, Apothecaries Vindicated from the Imputation of Ignorance. Wherein is Shown, that an Academical Education is No Way Necessary to Qualify a Man for the Practice of Physick, London: Printed for J. Roberts, […], →OCLC, page 6:
- [I]f he leaves the School poſſeſs'd of a ſluggiſh indolent Diſpoſition, and of Learning rather forc'd upon him than choſen, it is probable he will forget what he brought thence; but if he be active, emulous and aſpiring, he will certainly find Time for Reading and Thinking; for tho' it be a homely, it is a true Saying, that where there is a Will, there is a Way.
- 1796, Baron von Voght [i.e., Caspar Voght], “Account of the Management of the Poor in Hamburgh, between the Years 1788 and 1794. In a Letter to Some Friends of the Poor in Great Britain. […]”, in The Pamphleteer: Respectfully Dedicated to both Houses of Parliament, volume XI, number XXII, London: Printed by A[braham] J[ohn] Valpy, […]; sold by Rest Fenner, […]; Lloyd; Black, Kingsbury, and Co., […], published 1818, page 444:
- [H]ow far the particular practices in regard to Works of Industry may be usefully adopted, it is difficult to determine; but "where there is a will, there is a way:" local habits and circumstances must be the guides.
- [1810, Pigault-Lebrun [pseudonym; Charles-Antoine-Guillaume Pigault de l’Espinoy], “My Grandfather Riboulard, and My Grandmother Rosalia, are Really Married”, in My Uncle Thomas. A Romance. In Two Volumes. From the French, volume I, New York, N.Y.: Printed [by Isaac Riley] for John Brannan, →OCLC, page 16:
- Unmindful of her former poverty, she was perpetually teasing Riboulard to take a lodging in Rue St. Honoré, and to allow her to dress in a style more suitable to her station. [...] It is an old saying, that where there is a will, there is always a way. At the end of a few months, Rosalia began to trick out her person, without the corporal's knowledge; [...]]
- 1840 November, [Samuel] Laman Blanchard, “A Quarrel with Some Old Acquaintances”, in Theodore Hook, editor, The New Monthly Magazine and Humorist, volume LX, 3rd part, number CCXXXIX, London: Henry Colburn, […], →OCLC, section 10 (Where There’s a Will There’s a Way), page 408:
- The powerful and the fortunate are very fond of the maxim, "where there's a will there's a way;" and they rarely use it without expressing in very clear terms a cold, insolent, and uncharitable judgment upon exertions they are themselves not called upon to make, while they modestly declare that such exertions, if by them made, would be triumphant. They say, in sort, to the weak and unprosperous—You might succeed if you would, for effort is success, and we should find a certain and easy conquest where you have met but baffled hopes and continual defeat!
- 1882 August 24, John McKenzie, “Land Boards Bill”, in New Zealand. Parliamentary Debates. First Session of the Eighth Parliament. […] (House of Representatives), volume XLIII, Wellington: G. Didsbury, government printer, →OCLC, page 550, column 2:
- Where there is a will there is a way; but where there is no will there is no way, and that is the case with my honorable friend opposite.
- 1891, Thomas Hardy, chapter IV, in Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented […], volume I, London: James R[ipley] Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., […], →OCLC, phase the first (The Maiden), pages 40–41:
- Rolliver's inn, the single alehouse at this end of the long and broken village, could only boast of an off-license; [...] [T]hirsty strangers [...] wished they could have a restful seat inside. Thus the strangers. But there were also local customers who felt the same wish; and where there's a will there's a way. In a large bedroom upstairs, the window of which was thickly curtained with a great woollen shawl lately discarded by the landlady Mrs. Rolliver, were gathered on this evening nearly a dozen persons, all seeking vinous bliss; [...]
- 1912 February 9, “a New York detective” [pseudonym], “The Bradys in Death Swamp: Or, Downing a Desperate Band”, in Secret Service: Old and Young King Brady, Detectives, number 681, New York, N.Y.: Frank Tousey, →OCLC, chapter IX (The Rescue of Master Monkey), page 20, column 1:
- I have learned during my long life the great lesson that where there is a will there is a way. Armed bands have failed against these people. I came here hoping to find the way because I already had the will. Perhaps I did find it when fate threw me in with you.
- 1987 October 28, James Ezekiel Mbori, “Private Members’ Motions: Additional Water Pipeline from Mzima to Mombasa”, in Republic of Kenya: The National Assembly: Official Report […] (National Assembly of Kenya), volume LXXIII, Nairobi: Printed by the government printer, →OCLC, column 628:
- We have a saying in English: "Where there is a will there is a way". This House has a will, though the hon. Members of Parliament who represent the entire Kenya. [...] There will be funds made available because where there is a will there is a way. Funds will be made available, and this House always makes funds available every year.
- [2007, Christopher J. Gallagher; S. Barry Issenberg, “Attendance and Scheduling Issues”, in Simulation in Anesthesia, Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier, →ISBN, page 64:
- Scheduling is the killer of Simulators. But where there's a will … you know the rest. Kill the Scheduling Monster before it kills you.]
if someone wants or wills something strongly enough, a way can be found
- inveniam viam on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- “where there's a will there's a way, phrase”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.