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quotations about conceit

None so empty as those who are full of themselves.

BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms

Conceit is the most contemptible and one of the most odious qualities in the world. It is vanity driven from all other shifts, and forced to appeal to itself for admiration.

WILLIAM HAZLITT, Characteristics

Calm self-confidence is as far from conceit as the desire to earn a decent living is remote from greed.

CHANNING POLLOCK, attributed in The Book of Positive Quotations

What mortal is there of us, who would find his satisfaction enhanced by an opportunity of comparing the picture he presents to himself of his doings, with the picture they make on the mental retina of his neighbours? We are poor plants buoyed up by the air-vessels of our own conceit.


There’s a whole lot of people in trouble tonight
From the disease of conceit
Whole lot of people seeing double tonight
From the disease of conceit
Give ya delusions of grandeur
And a evil eye
Give you the idea that
You’re too good to die
Then they bury you from your head to your feet
From the disease of conceit

BOB DYLAN, "Disease of Conceit"

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.

AESOP, Aesop's Fables

Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.


He who conceits himself wise, has an ass near at hand.


The delicate balance between modesty and conceit is popularity.

ROBERT HALF, attributed, Forbes Magazine, vol. 124

Those who are talentless themselves are the first to talk about the conceit of others; for mediocrity bears but one flower--ENVY.

CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.


We measure everything by ourselves with almost a necessary conceit.

DEJAN STOJANOVIC, The Sun Watches the Sun

You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius.


Just because you're beautiful and perfect, it's made you conceited.

WILLIAM GOLDMAN, The Princess Bride

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.

JOHN WOODEN, They Call Me Coach

Talk about conceit as much as you like, it is to human character what salt is to the ocean; it keeps it sweet and renders it endurable. Say rather it is like the natural unguent of the sea-fowl's plumage, which enables him to shed the rain that falls on him and the waves in which he dips. When one has had all his conceit taken out of him, when he has lost all his illusions, his feathers will soon soak through, and he will fly no more.

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and His Works

Conceit is a great help to a shallow wit.

E. P. DAY, attributed, Day's Collacon

Conceit is God's gift to little men.


If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.

C. S. LEWIS, Mere Christianity

Conceit is the finest armor that a man can wear. Upon its smooth, impenetrable surface the puny dagger-thrusts of spite and envy glance harmlessly aside. Without that breast-plate, the sword of talent cannot force its way through the battle of life, for blows have to be borne as well as dealt. I do not, of course, speak of the conceit that displays itself in an elevated nose and a falsetto voice. That is not real conceit, that is only playing at being conceited; like children play at being kings and queens, and go strutting about with feathers and long trains. Genuine conceit does not make a man objectionable. On the contrary, it tends to make him genial, kind-hearted, and simple. He has no need of affectation, he is far too well satisfied with his own character; and his pride is too deep-seated to appear at all on the outside. Careless alike of praise or blame, he can afford to be truthful.

JEROME K. JEROME, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

Conceit is to nature what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but impairs what it would improve.

ALEXANDER POPE, letter to Mr. Walsh, Jul. 2, 1706

Conceited men often seem a harmless kind of men, who, by an overwhelming self-respect, relieve others from the duty of respecting them at all.

H. W. BEECHER, attributed, Day's Collacon

I've never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them.

GEORGE ELIOT, The Mill on the Floss

Conceited people are never without a certain degree of harmless satisfaction, wherewith to flavor the waters of life.

MME. DELUZY, attributed, Day's Collacon

Conceit causes more conversation than wit.

FRANCOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Reflections; Or Sentences and Moral Maxims

Conceit may puff a man up, but never prop him up.

JOHN RUSKIN, True and Beautiful, Morals and Religion, Function of the Artist

Conceit is an insuperable obstacle to all progress. On the other hand, it is of little use to take criticism in a slavish spirit and to act on it without understanding it.

ELLEN TERRY, The Story of My Life

Conceit is lovable and unconcealed ; vanity is supreme selfishness, usually hidden.

MYRTLE REED, The Spinster Book

Conceit and confidence are both of them cheats; the first always imposes on itself, the second frequently deceives others too.

ZIMMERMAN, attributed, Day's Collacon

Be not wise in your own conceits.

ROMANS 12:16

Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
They are but beggars that can count their worth.


There are some who conceit themselves very learned whilst they know nothing, or very wise and clever while they are exposing themselves to perpetual ridicule for their folly, or very handsome while the world calls them plain, or very peaceable while they are always quarrelling with their neighbors, or very humble whilst they are tenaciously stickling for their own; it would be well if such conceits afforded a harmless pleasure to their authors, but unfortunately they only render them more offensive and disgusting than they would otherwise be.

G. CRABB, attributed, Day's Collacon

He who is enamored of himself will at least have the advantage of being inconvenienced by few rivals.


Conceit spoils the finest genius.



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