sadder but wiser

sadder but wiser

Cliché unhappy but knowledgeable [about someone or something--after an unpleasant event]. After the accident, I was sadder but wiser, and would never make the same mistake again. We left the meeting sadder but wiser, knowing that we could not ever come to an agreement with Becky's aunt.
See also: but, sad, wiser

sadder but wiser

if someone is sadder but wiser after a bad experience, they have suffered but they have also learned something from it He bought a second-hand car and ended up sadder but wiser after a series of breakdowns and expensive repairs.
See also: but, sad, wiser

sadder but wiser

Unhappy but having learned from one's mistakes, as in Sadder but wiser, she's never going near poison ivy again. The pairing of these two adjectives was first recorded in Samuel Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798).
See also: but, sad, wiser
References in periodicals archive ?
Sadder but wiser, our feisty four recreate the original couples, but then at the last minute--just before Mozart's final chord--the women trade places, and all four suddenly look much happier.
As a guide, some marriages are robust enough to continue albeit sadder but wiser.
Sadder but wiser, the administration lately has been more cooperative with Congress and the courts.
But by the time James' Freudian jousts have played out, Catherine has shed her old-maid demeanor and, sadder but wiser, discovered her true inner strength.