Prudence Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old prudence quotes, prudence sayings, and prudence proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

The prudence of the best heads is often defeated by the tenderness of the best hearts.     

Henry Fielding

Prudence is foresight and far-sightedness. It's the ability to make immediate decisions on the basis of their longer-range effects.     

John Ortberg

Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken.     

Pope Benedict XVI

What we honor as prudence in our elders is simply panic in action.     

Umberto Eco

Prudence does not make people happy; it merely deprives them of the excitement of being constantly in trouble.      

Mason Cooley

Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.     

William Blake

Prudence is but experience, which equal time, equally bestows on all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto.     

Thomas Hobbes

Prudence advises us to use our enemies as if one day they might be friends.      

Margaret of Valois

Prudence keeps life safe, but it does not often make it happy.      

Samuel Johnson

The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we should conduct our own affairs.      

Warren Buffett

Prudence is a necessary ingredient in all the virtues, without which they degenerate into folly and excess.     

Jeremy Collier

Rashness belongs to youth; prudence to old age.     


The rules of prudence, like the laws of the stone tables, are for the most part prohibitive. "Thou shalt not" is their characteristic formula.     

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Economy, prudence, and a simple life are the sure masters of need, and will often accomplish that which, their opposites, with a fortune at hand, will fail to do.     

Clara Barton

The limits of prudence: one cannot jump out of a burning building gradually.     

Mason Cooley

Prudence supposes the value of the end to be assumed, and refers only to the adaptation of the means. It is the relation of right means for given ends.     

William Whewell

Prudence is the knowledge of things to be sought, and those to be shunned.     

Marcus Tullius Cicero

The principal use of prudence, of self-control, is that it teaches us to be masters of our passions, and to so control and guide them that the evils which they cause are quite bearable, and that we even derive joy from them all.     

Rene Descartes

An ounce of prudence is worth a pound of cleverness.     

Baltasar Gracian

So soon as prudence has begun to grow up in the brain, like a dismal fungus, it finds its first expression in a paralysis of generous acts.     

Robert Louis Stevenson

In matters of conscience, first thoughts are best. In matters of prudence, last thoughts are best.     

Robert Hall

It is one of the oldest maxims of moral prudence: Do not, by aspiring to what is impracticable, lose the opportunity of doing the good you can effect!     

William Godwin

Who makes quick use of the moment is a genius of prudence.     

Johann Kaspar Lavater

Prudence and compromise are necessary means, but every man should have an impudent end which he will not compromise.     

Charles Horton Cooley

Wisdom, prudence, forethought, these are essential. But not second to these that noble courage which adventures the right, and leaves the consequences to God.     

Robert Dale Owen

Prudence is not only the first in rank of the virtues political and moral, but she is the director and regulator, the standard of them all.     

Edmund Burke

In ethics, prudence is not an important virtue, but in the world it is almost everything.     

Mason Cooley

When nobody practices what they strongly believe in, that day will be a triumph of prudence.     

Benson Bruno

Prudence does not save us, but shows us pictures of our destroyers.     

Mason Cooley

What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.      

Adam Smith