bird in the hand

a bird in the hand

Something of some value that is already acquired. Taken from the proverb "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," which means that having something, even if it is a lesser quantity, is better than taking the chance of losing it in order to attain something else that seems more desirable. Stephen: "I enjoy dating Nicole, but I'd really like to ask Debbie to dinner." Mark: "If you do that, Nicole will break up with you. Don't forget that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
See also: bird, hand

bird in the hand

A benefit available now is more valuable than some possibly larger future benefit. For example, Bob thinks he might do better in a bigger firm, but his wife insists he should stay, saying a bird in the hand . This expression, which in full is A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, was an ancient Greek proverb. It was well known in English by about 1400 and has been repeated so frequently that it is often shortened.
See also: bird, hand