Winston Churchill Quotes

A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.

Winston Churchill

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.

Winston Churchill (The Second World War - Triumph and Tragedy, 1949)

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill

We are still masters of our fate.
We are still captains of our souls.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in Churchill Speaks: Winston S. Churchill in Peace and War)

The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action.

Winston Churchill (Speech as a Memorial for T. E. Lawrence, 1936)

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.

Winston Churchill

I am never going to have anything more to do with politics or politicians. When this war is over I shall confine myself entirely to writing and painting.

Winston Churchill

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Winston Churchill

I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and swet."

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1940)

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1940)

For myself, I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.

Winston Churchill (Speech in London, 1954)

It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.

Winston Churchill (The Story of the Malakand Field Force, 1898)

Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1974)

I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and this trial.

Winston Churchill (The Second World War - Volume I, 1949)

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

Winston Churchill (Radio broadcast, 1939)

A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.

Winston Churchill

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in Sir Winston Churchill: A Self-Portrait, 1954)

We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

Winston Churchill (Radio broadcast - 1941)

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

Winston Churchill (Speech at Harvard University, 1943)

We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.
Variant: We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1943)

The heights of great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night.

Winston Churchill

This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1941)

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in The Wit of Sir Winston, 1965)

Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.

Winston Churchill (My Early Life - Chapter I, 1930)

Were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

Winston Churchill (The River War, 1899)

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.

Winston Churchill (Radio broadcast - Every Man to his Post, 1940)

Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in Churchill Speaks: Winston S. Churchill in Peace and War)

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1940)

In retrospect these years form not only the least agreeable, but the only barren and unhappy period of my life. I was happy as a child with my toys in my nursery. I have been happier every year since I became a man. But this interlude of school makes a sombre grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was an unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, of toil uncheered by fruition; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony. This train of thought must not lead me to exaggerate the character of my school days ... Harrow was a very good school ... Most of the boys were very happy ... I can only record the fact that, no doubt through my own shortcomings, I was an exception. ... I was on the whole considerably discouraged ... All my contemporaries and even younger boys seemed in every way better adapted to the conditions of our little world. They were far better both at the games and at the lessons. It is not pleasant to feel oneself so completely outclassed and left behind at the very beginning of the race.

Winston Churchill (My Early Life - Chapter III, 1930)

My education was interrupted only by my schooling.

Winston Churchill

It is a good thing for an educated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.

Winston Churchill (My Early Life - Chapter 9, 1930)

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in the Reader's Digest, 1954)

When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin.

Winston Churchill (The Second World War - Triumph and Tragedy, 1949)

Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in The Evening Standard, 1937)

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1948)

All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: Freedom; Justice; Honour; Duty; Mercy; Hope.

Winston Churchill (Speech in London - Albert Hall, 1947)

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Winston Churchill (Speech in London, 1942)

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.

Winston Churchill

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

Winston Churchill

In time of war, when truth is so precious, it must be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

Winston Churchill (The Second World War: Closing the Ring, 1948)

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1945)

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to have changed often.

Winston Churchill (Speech in Washington D. C., 1952)

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and the glory of the climb.

Winston Churchill

Broadly speaking, short words are best, and the old words, when short, are best of all.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1974)

A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll forward.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1944)

We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.

Winston Churchill (Speech in Ottawa, 1941)

Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong-these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1935)

There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1974)

The price of greatness is responsibility.

Winston Churchill (Speech at Harvard University, 1943)

What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.

Winston Churchill (Speech in Scotland - Kinnaird Hall, 1908)

Never, never, never, never give up.

Winston Churchill (Speech at Harrow School, 1941)

Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it all others depend.
Variant: Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because, as has been said, 'it is the quality which guarantees all others.'

Winston Churchill (Great Contemporaries, 1937)

The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.

Winston Churchill (The Nobel Laureate Acceptance Speech, 1953)

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.

Winston Churchill (Speech at Harrow School, 1941)

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1955)

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill (Speech in Washington D. C.)

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.

Winston Churchill (Speech to the Royal Academy of Art, 1953)

When I was younger I made it a rule never to take strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.

Winston Churchill (Reply to King George VI)

In War: Resolution.
In Defeat: Defiance.
In Victory: Magnanimity.
In Peace: Good Will.

Winston Churchill (The Second World War - Volume I, 1948)

Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1916)

Never, never, never believe any way will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in The Age of Churchill, 1961)

We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it.

Winston Churchill (Speech in the House of Commons, 1940)

To achieve the extirpation of Nazi tyranny there are no lengths of violence to which we will not go.

Winston Churchill (Speech to Parliament, 1943)

I am ready to meet my Maker; whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

Winston Churchill (Quoted in the L. A. Times, 1954)

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

Winston Churchill

We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm.

Winston Churchill

You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.

Winston Churchill (My Early Life - Chapter IV, 1930)

No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.

Winston Churchill (My Early Life, 1930)

If you are going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Winston Churchill (Speech, 1940)

Winston Churchill Biography

Born: November 30, 1874
Died: January 24, 1965

Winston Churchill was a British politician and statesman during World War II. He is best known as the leader of the United Kingdom during the war.

Notable Works

My Early Life (1930)
The Second World War (1945)
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956 - 1958)