let sleeping dogs lie

Idioms & Phrases

let sleeping dogs lie

Allow inactive problems to remain so, as in Jane knew she should report the accident but decided to let sleeping dogs lie. This injunction to avoid stirring up trouble was already a proverb in the 13th century. It alludes to waking up a fierce watchdog and has been stated in English since the late 1300s.

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