nothing new under the sun

Cultural Dictionary

nothing new under the sun definition


A phrase adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes; the author complains frequently in the book about the monotony of life. The entire passage reads, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

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

nothing new under the sun

Everything has been seen before, as in Those designs take me back to the 1950sthere really is nothing new under the sun. This world-weary view was already expressed in 1382 in the Bible translation attributed to John Wycliffe's followers: "No thing under the sun is new" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

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