better the devil you know than the devil you don't

Definition of better the devil you know than the devil you don't

used to say that it is better to deal with a difficult person or situation one knows than with a new person or situation that could be worse

Word by Word Definitions

better play
  1. : comparative of good

  2. : greater than half

  3. : improved in health or mental attitude

  1. : to make better (see 1better): such as

  2. : to make more tolerable or acceptable

  3. : to make more complete or perfect

  1. : comparative of well

  2. : in a more excellent manner

  3. : to greater advantage : preferably

  1. : something better (see 1better)

  2. : a superior especially in merit or rank

  3. : advantage, victory

  1. : had better (see 3better 1b)

devil play
  1. : the personal supreme spirit of evil often represented in Jewish and Christian belief as the tempter of humankind, the leader of all apostate angels, and the ruler of hell

  2. : an evil spirit : demon

  3. : an extremely wicked person : fiend

  1. : to season highly

  2. : tease, annoy

you play
  1. : the one or ones being addressed — compare thee, thou, ye, your, yours

  2. : one

know play
  1. : to perceive directly : have direct cognition of

  2. : to have understanding of

  3. : to recognize the nature of : discern

  1. : knowledge

don't play
  1. : do not

  2. : does not

  1. : a command or entreaty not to do something


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up better the devil you know than the devil you don't? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!