kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

Idioms & Phrases

kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

Destroy a source of riches through stupidity or greed, as in If he never gives his loyal customers a break on some items in his store, he'll kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. This expression, already a proverb in the late 1400s, alludes to Aesop's fable about a farmer whose goose lays one golden egg a day, and who kills the goose in the mistaken belief that he'll get all the eggs at once.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: kill the fatted calf
Next Definition: kill time
More from Thesaurus.com
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature