no man is an island

Cultural Dictionary

No man is an island definition


No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others. This saying comes from a sermon by the seventeenth-century English author John Donne.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

no man is an island

Human beings necessarily depend on one another, as in You can't manage this all by yourself; no man is an island. This expression is a quotation from John Donne's Devotions (1624): "No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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