a little knowledge is a dangerous thing


Also found in: Acronyms.

a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Having a precursory or limited amount of knowledge about something can make one overestimate how well they will be able to do something much larger in scope or scale. Just because she painted her room by herself, now she thinks she can do the entire house—inside and out! A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I tell you.

little knowledge is a dangerous thing

 and little learning is a dangerous thing
Prov. Cliché If you only know a little about something, you may feel you are qualified to make judgments when, in fact, you are not. After Bill read one book on the history of Venezuela, he felt he was an authority on the subject, but he wound up looking like a fool in discussions with people who knew a lot more about it than he did. A little learning is a dangerous thing.

little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a

Also, a little learning is a dangerous thing. Knowing a little about something tempts one to overestimate one's abilities. For example, I know you've assembled furniture, but that doesn't mean you can build an entire wall system; remember, a little knowledge . This maxim, originally a line from Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1709), has been repeated with slight variations ever since. It is still heard, although less frequently, and sometimes shortened, as in the example.
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