the pen is mightier than the sword


the pen is mightier than the sword
Cf. CICERO De Officiis I. xxii. cedant arma togae, arms give way to persuasion.

1582 G. WHETSTONE Heptameron of Civil Discourses iii. The dashe of a Pen, is more greeuous then the counter use of a Launce.

a 1712 W. KING Eagle & Robin in Poetical Works (1781) III. 49 Poor Bob..A goosequill on for weapon ty’d, Knowing by use that now and then A sword less hurt does than a pen.

1839 BULWER-LYTTON Richelieu II. ii. Beneath the rule of men entirely great, The pen is mightier than the sword.

1976 T. SHARPE Wilt iii. The man who said the pen was mightier than the sword ought to have tried reading The Mill on the Floss to Motor Mechanics.

2002 Washington Post 6 Mar. C1 In the long run, casualties and causality may be equally important—or maybe Laura Bush and her conference on education had the edge, yesterday, the pen being mightier than the sword and all.


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  • The pen is mightier than the sword — is a metonymic adage coined by Edward Bulwer Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy .cite book title=Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy: A Play in Five Acts. publisher=Saunders and Otley, Conduit St. location=London year=1839… …   Wikipedia

  • (the) pen is mightier than the sword — the pen is mightier than the sword formal phrase used for saying that what someone writes can have more effect than violent action Thesaurus: ways of solving problemssynonym Main entry: pen * * * the ˌpen is ˌmightier than the ˈsword idiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • the pen is mightier than the sword — ► the pen is mightier than the sword proverb writing is more effective than military power or violence. Main Entry: ↑pen …   English terms dictionary

  • (the) pen is mightier than the sword. — formal something that you say which means thinking and writing have more influence on people and events than the use of force or violence. Reason is our greatest weapon against such tyrants. The pen is mightier than the sword …   New idioms dictionary

  • the pen is mightier than the sword — formal used for saying that what someone writes can have more effect than violent action …   English dictionary

  • the pen is mightier than the sword — proverb writing is more effective than military power or violence …   Useful english dictionary

  • pen is mightier than the sword — The idiom the pen is mightier than the sword means that words and communication are more powerful than wars and fighting …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • pen is mightier than the sword —    The idiom the pen is mightier than the sword means that words and communication are more powerful than wars and fighting.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Pen is mightier than the sword —   The idiom the pen is mightier than the sword means that words and communication are more powerful than wars and fighting …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • pen mightier than sword —    This expression means that words and communication have greater effect than war and fighting.     The treaty put an end to the hostilities the pen is mightier than the sword …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions