What does the idiom "Well begin is half done" mean?

The phrase Well begin is half done is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of Well begin is half done.

Meaning of "Well begin is half done"


The phrase "well begun is half done" is a proverb which means that if you start something off right, you are more likely to reach a successful conclusion. It is a motivational phrase to encourage people to make sure they have made a good start when they are undertaking a task in order to improve their chances of success. The phrase encourages people to put in a lot of effort at the beginning of a task as it gives them a better chance of achieving their goal.


The phrase “well begun is half done” has been around for centuries and there is some debate about its origins. It is likely the phrase originated in Ancient Greek philosophy or in the Bible, with a similar phrase appearing in the Bible in Proverbs 24:16 and Ecclesiastes 7:8. In the 16th century, the phrase started to be popularized and was used as a motivational tool to encourage people to put in more effort at the start of a task.


The phrase “well begun is half done” is usually used to motivate someone to get an activity off to a good start. It can be used when someone is starting a new job, a project, a task or even a hobby. It is a reminder to take the time to do the groundwork and plan ahead, so that everything runs more smoothly later on. The phrase can also be extended to other activities, such as “well begun is half won” or “well begun, is half written” to refer to writing tasks.

Example Sentences

  • “Let’s make sure we get off to a good start, remember: well begun is half done.”
  • “I want to make sure I get this project right so it’s important to plan ahead: well begun is half done.”
  • “If you want to write an essay, make sure you plan it first: well begun is half written.”

The meanings of the words in the "Well begin is half done" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.


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