look a gift horse in the mouth

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look a gift horse in the mouth

To show a lack of appreciation or gratitude when receiving a gift. A Latin version of the saying is found in the writings of St. Jerome and refers to the practice of looking at a horse's teeth to determine its age. It is often used in the negative to mean the opposite. I know Aunt Jean isn't your favorite person, but she gave you that beautiful sweater as a present, so don't look a gift horse in the mouth! A: "But I don't want this ancient car!" B: "I can't believe you're looking a gift horse in the mouth, especially since you can't afford to buy a car on your own!"
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

look a gift horse in the mouth

Fig. to be ungrateful to someone who gives you something; to treat someone who gives you a gift badly. (Usually with a negative.) Never look a gift horse in the mouth. I advise you not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

look a gift horse in the mouth

Be critical or suspicious of something received at no cost. For example, Dad's old car is full of dents, but we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. This term, generally expressed as a cautionary proverb ( Don't look a gift horse in the mouth), has been traced to the writings of the 4th-century cleric, St. Jerome, and has appeared in English since about 1500. It alludes to determining the age of a horse by looking at its teeth.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

look a gift horse in the mouth

find fault with what has been given or be ungrateful for an opportunity.
The Latin version of the proverb don't look a gift horse in the mouth (noli…equi dentes inspicere donati ) was known to St Jerome in the early 5th century ad. The 16th-century English form was do not look a given horse in the mouth .
1998 New Scientist The JAMA paper offers this advice to researchers involved in industry-funded studies: ‘At times it may be prudent… to look a gift horse in the mouth’.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

(not) look a ˌgift horse in the ˈmouth

(informal) (not) find something wrong with something given to you free: He didn’t want to accept the offer of a free meal but I told him not to look a gift horse in the mouth.The usual way to judge the age of a horse is to look at its teeth.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth

look a gift horse in the mouth

To be critical or suspicious of something one has received without expense.
See also: gift, horse, look, mouth
References in periodicals archive ?
He said 'sorry, sorry', and then punched her in the mouth.
This is a full-bodied, well-balanced wine with plenty of flavor depth, nice and round in the mouth and decisively fruity.
One of the hottest new candies on the market is the Mega Warheads, which within seconds of placing in the mouth is guaranteed to cause the mouth to pucker and the eyes to water.