one swallow doesn't make a summer

one swallow doesn't make a summer

A single good outcome does not indicate an overall situation that is ideal or greatly improved. A lot of things went right for us this year, but one swallow doesn't make a summer—we still have a long ways to go before our finances are back in order.
See also: make, one, summer, swallow

one swallow doesn't make a summer

You say one swallow doesn't make a summer to mean that although something good has happened, the situation may not continue to be good, and you cannot rely on it. Sales in December were up about 1 percent, which of course, is good news. One swallow, however, doesn't make a summer and it remains to be seen whether they can maintain this growth in the difficult months ahead. Note: People often use the more literary phrase one swallow does not a summer make. One swallow does not a summer make, but a visit to the Hotel Metropole in Ipswich goes a long way to improving that city's reputation. Note: Swallows are a type of bird. The reference here is to the arrival of swallows in Europe at the beginning of summer, after spending the winter further south.
See also: make, one, summer, swallow

one swallow doesn't make a summer

a single fortunate event does not mean that what follows will also be good. proverb
1998 Spectator One swallow doesn't make a summer…nor one instance of police dereliction of duty, incompetence, laziness and stupidity a complete breakdown in law and order.
See also: make, one, summer, swallow

one ˌswallow doesn’t make a ˈsummer

(saying) you must not take too seriously a small sign that something is happening or will happen in the future: ‘We got a big order from Sweden this morning. Things are getting better.’ ‘One swallow doesn’t make a summer, you know. Don’t be too optimistic.’
This expression refers to the fact that swallows (= small birds with a tail with two points) spend the winter in Africa but fly to northern countries for the summer.
See also: make, one, summer, swallow
References in periodicals archive ?
One swallow doesn't make a summer, they say, but in the midst of the dol-drums, how many fine ballerinas does it take to give a festival wings?