Over 250 Of The Best Oscar Wilde Quotes And Words

The writer and poet Oscar Wilde is one of the most quoted people in the world. Here’s a collection of the best Oscar Wilde quotes.

Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)

Known for his witty sayings and sharp observations, Oscar Wilde was a prolific writer whose work includes plays, novels, essays, and poetry. His most famous works are The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, and later moved to London, England, where he became known for his flamboyant style and brilliant conversation. Often considered to be one of the most witty people of all time, he was also known for his scathing critiques of Victorian society.

Oscar Wilde is one of the most quoted authors, and this list of sayings and extracts includes lines from plays, novels, and letters

Best Oscar Wilde Quotes

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating – people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.

– Oscar Wilde


Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.

– Oscar Wilde


Nothing is so aggravating than calmness.

– Oscar Wilde

Nothing is so aggravating than calmness. - Oscar Wilde


The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.

– Oscar Wilde


A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.

– Oscar Wilde


To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

– Oscar Wilde

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. - Oscar Wilde


Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

– Oscar Wilde


Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

– Oscar Wilde


A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.

– Oscar Wilde


Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nineteenth century that one cannot explain away.

– Oscar Wilde


There is no sin except stupidity.

– Oscar Wilde


No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.

– Oscar Wilde


No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.

– Oscar Wilde


A man can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

– Oscar Wilde


There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.

– Oscar Wilde


It is always the unreadable that occurs.

– Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde Sayings

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

– Oscar Wilde


The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it’s dead for you.

– Oscar Wilde


The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

– Oscar Wilde


To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

– Oscar Wilde


Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable.

– Oscar Wilde


What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying.

– Oscar Wilde


There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.

– Oscar Wilde


The illusion is the first of all pleasures.

– Oscar Wilde


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.

– Oscar Wilde


I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

– Oscar Wilde


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

– Oscar Wilde


An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

– Oscar Wilde


The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.

– Oscar Wilde


I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.

– Oscar Wilde


There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.

– Oscar Wilde


A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.

– Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde Inspirational Quotes

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

– Oscar Wilde


Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

– Oscar Wilde


There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.

– Oscar Wilde


Authority is quite degrading.

– Oscar Wilde

Authority is quite degrading. - Oscar Wilde


In America, the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.

– Oscar Wilde


The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.

– Oscar Wilde


As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.

– Oscar Wilde


A conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

– Oscar Wilde


The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

– Oscar Wilde


Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.

– Oscar Wilde


I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.

– Oscar Wilde


Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.

– Oscar Wilde


One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.

– Oscar Wilde


One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

– Oscar Wilde


Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.

– Oscar Wilde

Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. - Oscar Wilde


Do you really think it is a weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength, and courage to yield to.

– Oscar Wilde

Related: 300+ Courage Quotes To Help You Face Fears And Overcome Adversity


Best Quotes Oscar Wilde

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.

– Oscar Wilde


Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.

– Oscar Wilde


I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.

– Oscar Wilde


The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.

– Oscar Wilde


True friends stab you in the front.

– Oscar Wilde


One’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead.

– Oscar Wilde


When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her.

– Oscar Wilde


Women are made to be loved, not understood.

– Oscar Wilde


Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world, there are only individuals.

– Oscar Wilde


If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

– Oscar Wilde


I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.

– Oscar Wilde

I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works. - Oscar Wilde


If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.

– Oscar Wilde


If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.

– Oscar Wilde


How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?

– Oscar Wilde


Biography lends to death a new terror.

– Oscar Wilde


Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.

– Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde Famous Quotes

There is always something infinitely mean about other people’s tragedies.

– Oscar Wilde


The quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.

– Oscar Wilde


The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

– Oscar Wilde


I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.

– Oscar Wilde


I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.

– Oscar Wilde


One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.

– Oscar Wilde


Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there.

– Oscar Wilde


I have nothing to declare except my genius.

– Oscar Wilde


The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

– Oscar Wilde


I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

– Oscar Wilde


It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

– Oscar Wilde


I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.

– Oscar Wilde


It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

– Oscar Wilde


Everything popular is wrong.

– Oscar Wilde


It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.

– Oscar Wilde

It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned. - Oscar Wilde


In modern life, nothing produces such an effect as a good platitude. It makes the whole world kin.

– Oscar Wilde


Quotes – Oscar Wilde

There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathize with the color, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life’s sores the better.

– Oscar Wilde


Between men and women, there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.

– Oscar Wilde


If one plays good music, people don’t listen and if one plays bad music people don’t talk.

– Oscar Wilde


There is no necessity to separate the monarch from the mob; all authority is equally bad.

– Oscar Wilde


Only the shallow know themselves.

– Oscar Wilde

Only the shallow know themselves. - Oscar Wilde


An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.

– Oscar Wilde


Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

– Oscar Wilde


Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is for the best ending for one.

– Oscar Wilde


This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

– Oscar Wilde


I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.

– Oscar Wilde


When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.

– Oscar Wilde


Why was I born with such contemporaries?

– Oscar Wilde


There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

– Oscar Wilde


I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

– Oscar Wilde


Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

– Oscar Wilde


It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

– Oscar Wilde


Quotes by Oscar Wilde

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

– Oscar Wilde


I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

– Oscar Wilde


The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.

– Oscar Wilde

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast. - Oscar Wilde


Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

– Oscar Wilde


Life is too important to be taken seriously.

– Oscar Wilde

Life is too important to be taken seriously. - Oscar Wilde


It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.

– Oscar Wilde


Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the sexes.

– Oscar Wilde


As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

– Oscar Wilde


Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.

– Oscar Wilde


Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

– Oscar Wilde


The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.

– Oscar Wilde


While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.

– Oscar Wilde


Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

– Oscar Wilde


Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.

– Oscar Wilde


By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.

– Oscar Wilde


Ah, well, then I suppose I shall have to die beyond my means.

– Oscar Wilde


Famous Oscar Wilde Quotes

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

– Oscar Wilde

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane. - Oscar Wilde


When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.

– Oscar Wilde


Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.

– Oscar Wilde

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us. - Oscar Wilde


A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.

– Oscar Wilde


Who, being loved, is poor?

– Oscar Wilde


Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.

– Oscar Wilde


A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

– Oscar Wilde


In America, the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever.

– Oscar Wilde


I can resist everything except temptation.

– Oscar Wilde


Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.

– Oscar Wilde


Charity creates a multitude of sins.

– Oscar Wilde


Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.

– Oscar Wilde


All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

– Oscar Wilde

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. - Oscar Wilde


Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

– Oscar Wilde

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure. - Oscar Wilde


Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.

– Oscar Wilde


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

– Oscar Wilde


Quotations by Oscar Wilde

Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

– Oscar Wilde


The well-bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.

– Oscar Wilde


To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

– Oscar Wilde


The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it.

– Oscar Wilde


Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.

– Oscar Wilde


The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

– Oscar Wilde

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. - Oscar Wilde


Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.

– Oscar Wilde


The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.

– Oscar Wilde


Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.

– Oscar Wilde


A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

– Oscar Wilde


If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble in the world.

– Oscar Wilde


The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.

– Oscar Wilde


The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

– Oscar Wilde

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius. - Oscar Wilde


It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But… it is better to be good than to be ugly.

– Oscar Wilde


There’s nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It’s a thing no married man knows anything about.

– Oscar Wilde


Those whom the god’s love grow young.

– Oscar Wilde


Phrases Oscar Wilde

The woman begins by resisting a man’s advances and ends by blocking his retreat.

– Oscar Wilde


Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

– Oscar Wilde


Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

– Oscar Wilde


A true friend stabs you in the front.

– Oscar Wilde

A true friend stabs you in the front. - Oscar Wilde


It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection.

– Oscar Wilde


It is only by not paying one’s bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.

– Oscar Wilde


Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.

– Oscar Wilde


How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far more expensive.

– Oscar Wilde


I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.

– Oscar Wilde


Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

– Oscar Wilde


The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.

– Oscar Wilde


Hatred is blind, as well as love.

– Oscar Wilde

Hatred is blind, as well as love. - Oscar Wilde


Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.

– Oscar Wilde


The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.

– Oscar Wilde


A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

– Oscar Wilde


A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

– Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde Witty Quotes

Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing.

– Oscar Wilde


Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.

– Oscar Wilde


Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

– Oscar Wilde

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. - Oscar Wilde


The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.

– Oscar Wilde


All that I desire to point out is a general principle that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

– Oscar Wilde


One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.

– Oscar Wilde


Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.

– Oscar Wilde


All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

– Oscar Wilde


In married life, three is a company, and two none.

– Oscar Wilde


If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.

– Oscar Wilde


A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

– Oscar Wilde


What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

– Oscar Wilde


America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.

– Oscar Wilde


A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

– Oscar Wilde


Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

– Oscar Wilde


Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.

– Oscar Wilde


Quotes from Oscar Wilde

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

– Oscar Wilde


Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

– Oscar Wilde


All art is quite useless.

– Oscar Wilde


He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.

– Oscar Wilde


There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is poor. The poor can think of nothing else.

– Oscar Wilde


When good Americans die they go to Paris.

– Oscar Wilde


I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.

– Oscar Wilde


The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

– Oscar Wilde


There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.

– Oscar Wilde


These days man knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

– Oscar Wilde


One’s past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged.

– Oscar Wilde


Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.

– Oscar Wilde


Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.

– Oscar Wilde


It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.

– Oscar Wilde


I am not young enough to know everything.

– Oscar Wilde

I am not young enough to know everything. - Oscar Wilde


No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

– Oscar Wilde


Well Known Oscar Wilde Quotes

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

– Oscar Wilde

Work is the curse of the drinking classes. - Oscar Wilde


There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.

– Oscar Wilde


Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.

– Oscar Wilde


The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.

– Oscar Wilde


The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.

– Oscar Wilde


No man is rich enough to buy back his past.

– Oscar Wilde


Alas, I am dying beyond my means.

– Oscar Wilde


I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

– Oscar Wilde


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

– Oscar Wilde


Life imitates art far more than Art imitates Life.

– Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde Aphorisms And Quotations

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.

“Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.”

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities

“The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”

We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.

The very essence of romance is uncertainty.

Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.



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