see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

1. Proverb Be virtuous and morally upright in the face of any evil around one; do not allow oneself to be taken in or overwhelmed by evil. Typically embodied by three monkeys covering their eyes, ears, and mouth, respectively. I've always stood by my principles, standing firm in the face of those who would tempt me to wickedness. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
2. Proverb To ignore or turn a blind eye to evil without taking action against it. A lot of people will decry human rights abuses, but as soon as correcting those abuses inconveniences their own lives in any way, they choose to see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
See also: evil, hear, no, see, speak

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Prov. Ignore any evil that you come in contact with; be virtuous even though there is evil around you. (Often represented by three monkeys, one of which is covering his eyes, one his ears, and one his mouth.) Jill: Do you have any idea why Fred is staying in the office so late every night? Jane: Not me. Like the three little monkeys, I see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
See also: evil, hear, no, see, speak
References in periodicals archive ?
'See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil' is a widely recognised proverb that refers to those who deal with problems by refusing to acknowledge them.
In Untitled (Three Small Men) [all works 1997], the figures strike poses that represent "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." The parallel Untitled (Three Large Men) shows three good men.
Teesside supporters of The Lifeline Project joined others worldwide to hopefully set a Guinness World Record for the most number of people covering their eyes, ears or mouths to reflect the ancient proverb "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".
"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil symbolises that governments globally don't really recognise the problem - it's a hidden issue.
The attempt is for the highest number of people dressed as monkeys around the globe covering their eyes, ears and mouths, to reflect the ancient proverb "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".
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