What does the idiom "He who laughs" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. He who laughs meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "He who laughs"


The idiom “He who laughs last, laughs best” is used to express the idea that those who wait patiently, carefully plan their moves and ultimately don’t give up in the face of adversity will be rewarded with success and satisfaction in the end. It is used in many different situations where someone is being challenged or having difficulty. This idiom can also be used to encourage someone to keep trying and to not give up on their goals or dreams no matter how many obstacles they face.


The phrase “He who laughs last, laughs best” is derived from the ancient Greek proverb “μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος” which translates to “Sing, goddess, the wrath of Pelops son of Tantalus”. This verse, taken from Homer’s Iliad, was used to foreshadow the eventual downfall of King Agamemnon, who was ultimately punished for his arrogance by the gods. The phrase has been interpreted to mean that those who act with humility and patience are ultimately rewarded, while those who act with pride and rashness are ultimately punished.


The idiom “He who laughs last, laughs best” is mostly used as an expression of encouragement and advice, especially in situations where someone is facing a difficult challenge. It is used to remind the person that if they remain patient and continue to work hard, they will eventually be rewarded. It is also used to remind people to stay humble and not let pride or arrogance get in the way of their goals.

Example Sentences

  • "He who laughs last, laughs best. Don't give up; you will get there eventually!"
  • "No matter how challenging it gets, remember that he who laughs last, laughs best!"
  • "Keep working hard and stay humble; he who laughs last, laughs best!"
  • "Remember, it's not over until he who laughs last

The meanings of the words in the "He who laughs" idiom

From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms

English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.


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