all that glitters is not gold

Cultural Dictionary

All that glitters is not gold definition


Things that appear on the surface to be of great value may be quite worthless.

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

all that glitters is not gold

Something attractive is not always what it seems, as in This house is really beautiful, but a close look will show dry rot near the foundationall that glitters is not gold. Aesop stated the same idea in two of his fables (c. 600 b.c.), and a version close to the current wording appeared in 1175.

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