more sinned against than sinning

Cultural Dictionary

more sinned against than sinning definition


An expression used of those who, though they may be guilty of wrongdoing, think themselves the victim of a more serious wrong. From William Shakespeare's King Lear.

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

more sinned against than sinning

Less guilty than those who have injured one, as in It's true she took the money but they did owe her quite a bitin a way she's more sinned against than sinning. This expression comes from Shakespeare's King Lear (3:2), where the King, on the heath during a storm, so describes his plight.

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