An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.


Maya Angelou (1928-, African-American poet, writer, performer)

Author's website:


Defeat is a school in which truth always grows strong.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes men invincible.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes men invincible.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


There are important cases in which the difference between half a heart and a whole heart makes just the difference between signal defeat and a splendid victory.


A. H. K. Boyd


I give the fight up: let there be an end, a privacy, an obscure nook for me. I want to be forgotten, even by God.


Robert Browning (1812-1889, British poet)


When the frustration of my helplessness seemed greatest, I discovered God's grace was more than sufficient. And after my imprisonment, I could look back and see how God used my powerlessness for His purpose. What He has chosen for my most significant witness was not my triumphs or victories, but my defeat.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


My lowest days as a Christian have been more fulfilling and rewarding than all the days of glory in the White House.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.


Josephus Daniels (1862-1948, American publisher, editor)


Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


Most human organizations that fall short of their goals do so not because of stupidity or faulty doctrines, but because of internal decay and rigidification. They grow stiff in the joints. They get in a rut. They go to seed.


James A. Garfield (1831-1881, American President (20th))


A man can be destroyed but not defeated.


Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961, American writer)


I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.


Lou Holtz (1937-, American football coach)


The man who wins may have been counted out several times but he didn't hear the referee.


H. E. Jansen


Making a comeback is one of the most difficult things to do with dignity.


Greg Lake


I've learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.


Tom Landry (1924-, American football player, coach)


Defeat is a state of mind. No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.


Bruce Lee (1940-1973, Chinese-American martial artist, actor, director, author)

Author's website:


We are not retreating -- we are advancing in another direction.


Douglas Macarthur (1880-1964, American army general during WW II)


There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


Those who are prepared to die for any cause are seldom defeated.


Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964, Indian nationalist, statesman)


To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


Believe you are defeated, believe it long enough, and it is likely to become a fact.


Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993, American Christian reformed pastor, speaker, author)


Commonly, people believe that defeat is characterized by a general bustle and a feverish rush. Bustle and rush are the signs of victory, not of defeat. Victory is a thing of action. It is a house in the act of being built. Every participant in victory sweats and puffs, carrying the stones for the building of the house. But defeat is a thing of weariness, of incoherence, of boredom. And above all of futility.


Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944, French aviator, writer)


The injustice of defeat lies in the fact that its most innocent victims are made to look like heartless accomplices. It is impossible to see behind defeat, the sacrifices, the austere performance of duty, the self-discipline and the vigilance that are there -- those things the god of battle does not take account of.


Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944, French aviator, writer)


Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.


Marilyn Vos Savant


A man is not defeated by his opponents but by himself.


Jan Christian Smuts (1870-1950, South African Prime Minister)


The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back. The great champions have all come back from defeat.


Sam Snead (1912-2002, American golfer)


Who asks whether the enemy were defeated by strategy or valor?


Virgil (c. 70 - 19 BC, Roman poet)


Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.


George E. Woodberry (1855-1930, American literary critic)


For by superior energies; more strict affiance in each other; faith more firm in their unhallowed principles, the bad have fairly earned a victory over the weak, the vacillating, inconsistent good.


William Wordsworth (1770-1850, British poet)


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