ignorance is bliss

Cultural Dictionary

Ignorance is bliss definition


Not knowing something is often more comfortable than knowing it.

Note: This proverb resembles “What you don't know cannot hurt you.” It figures in a passage from “On a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” by the eighteenth-century English poet Thomas Gray: “Where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise.’”
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

ignorance is bliss

What you don't know won't hurt you. For example, She decided not to read the critics' reviewsignorance is bliss. Although its truth may be dubious at best, this idea has been expressed since ancient times. The actual wording, however, comes from Thomas Gray's poem, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" (1742): "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."

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