More Haste, Less Speed: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
June 26, 2023

The idiom "more haste, less speed" suggests that rushing through tasks often leads to mistakes and ultimately slows down progress. It advises taking the time to do things correctly and efficiently, as rushing may necessitate spending extra time fixing the errors.

In short:

"More haste, less speed" means that if you try to do something too quickly, you will make mistakes and take longer in the end

What Does "More Haste, Less Speed" Mean?

The idiom suggests that taking the time to do things properly and methodically will often result in faster, better outcomes than hastily rushing through them. When someone says "more haste, less speed," they are essentially advising caution and care in completing tasks.

Let's delve into its core implications and application:

  • "More haste, less speed" is a wise reminder to take your time and think things through before acting, ensuring that tasks are done right the first time.
  • By not rushing, you can keep the flow steady and dodge unnecessary blunders that eat up your time.
  • This gem of wisdom isn’t just for daily chores; it’s also a game-changer in the workplace or when tackling big projects, helping you to stay cool, composed, and efficient.

Where Does "More Haste, Less Speed" Come From?

The earliest recorded use of “more haste less speed” in this idiomatic sense dates back to the early 16th century. For example, in John Heywood’s collection of proverbs, A Dialogue Conteynyng Prouerbes and Epigrammes, published in 1546, we can find the line:

"The more hast, the worse speed."

Historical Example

"You all know the old proverb, 'More haste, less speed;' well , I think I can prove to you that a prayerless mother is just one who makes the most haste, but certainly does not speed well."

- The Mother's Friend, 1858

10 Examples of "More Haste, Less Speed" in Sentences

Here are some examples of the idiom in use:

  • The saying "more haste, less speed" are my words to live by, especially when working on important projects with tight deadlines.
  • More haste, less speed – when he hurried through his presentation, he missed crucial details and had to redo it.
  • Sort the files one at a time. Remember, more haste, less speed.
  • The chef’s mantra was more haste, less speed, ensuring that each dish was prepared to perfection.
  • She often told her students, "More haste, less speed," urging them to be thorough in their work.
  • When I started to catch feelings too quickly, it became clear that more haste less speed was the ideal mantra to prevent heartbreak.
  • While training for the marathon, he realized the value of more haste, less speed, as pacing himself was key to finishing the race.
  • The rushed construction of the model seemed like a classic case of more haste, less speed when it started to fall apart.
  • From my point of view, the city's rush to complete the infrastructure projects led to a situation of more haste, less speed.
  • In programming, more haste, less speed is crucial, as rushing code often leads to bugs and more time debugging.

Examples of "More Haste, Less Speed" in Pop Culture

The phrase "more haste, less speed" isn't as common in pop culture, but its philosophy has been adopted and showcased in various media.

Let's explore some instances:

  • "The Tortoise and the Hare," one of Aesop's Fables, encapsulates the concept of "more haste, less speed." The slow yet steady tortoise eventually wins the race against the quick but overconfident hare.
  • The idiom is also seen in the book "Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready" by June Oberlander, a practical guide to childhood education emphasizing the value of careful and considered progress.
  • "More haste, less speed, my loyal furry friend" is a line from the animated TV series "Thundercats" (1985-1989).

Other/Different Ways to Say "More Haste, Less Speed"

There are other expressions that convey a similar message to "more haste, less speed."

Here are some of them:

  • Slow and steady wins the race
  • Haste makes waste
  • Rushing causes errors
  • Hurrying leads to mistakes

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "More Haste, Less Speed":

  • What does "more haste, less speed" mean?

"More haste, less speed" is an idiom that means rushing through tasks may lead to errors, slowing down overall progress. It advocates for a careful, measured approach.

  • How can I use "more haste, less speed" in a sentence?

You can use "more haste, less speed" to advise patience and deliberation. For example, "In our work, it's always 'more haste, less speed'; we check everything thoroughly before moving on."

  • Where does the idiom "more haste, less speed" come from?

"More haste, less speed" is a centuries-old saying, advising that hasty actions may lead to mistakes that slow down progress.

  • Can the idiom be used in professional settings?

Yes, "more haste, less speed" is apt in professional contexts, encouraging carefulness to ensure quality and efficiency in work.

  • Is "more haste, less speed" only applicable to manual tasks?

No, it applies to both manual and intellectual tasks, anywhere where rushing might lead to mistakes.

  • Can it be used as a life philosophy?

Yes, the idiom "more haste, less speed" can be seen as a philosophy advocating patience, diligence, and carefulness in life.

  • Does "more haste, less speed" contradict the idea of multitasking?

Not necessarily. The idiom warns against rushing, not doing multiple things simultaneously. However, it may highlight the potential for errors when one doesn't focus on one task at a time.

  • Does "more haste, less speed" mean that fast work is always sloppy?

No, it doesn't imply that speed always leads to sloppiness, but it warns that hasty, ill-considered actions often lead to mistakes that slow down progress.

  • Can "more haste, less speed" apply to modern technology and innovations?

Yes, the phrase remains relevant. For instance, in software development, rushing a product often leads to bugs that take more time to fix later.

  • Is the concept behind "more haste, less speed" universally recognized?

Yes, the idea that careful, considered action leads to better outcomes is a universal concept and can be found in different cultures, languages, and fields of study.

Final Thoughts About "More Haste, Less Speed"

The idiom "more haste, less speed" underscores the importance of carefulness and measured pace in accomplishing tasks more effectively and efficiently. It serves as a reminder that rushing often leads to mistakes, causing delays that could have been avoided by taking a more deliberate approach.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "More haste, less speed" suggests that a rushed pace often slows down overall progress due to potential mistakes.
  • This phrase is applicable in many areas, including professional, personal, and educational contexts.
  • It promotes a careful and considered approach in any undertaking, highlighting the value of quality over mere speed.

The phrase serves as a helpful reminder that patience and carefulness can often lead to better outcomes, whether in our daily tasks or broader life goals.

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