the way to hell is paved with good intentions

the way to hell is paved with good intentions

proverb Good intentions do not matter if a person's actions lead to bad outcomes. A: "I'm sorry, I was only trying to explain where Tom was coming from! I didn't mean to make matters worse." B: "Yeah, well, the way to hell is paved with good intentions."
See also: good, hell, intention, pave, to, way
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hell is paved with good intentions, the road/way to

Meaning well is not the same as doing well and may even make matters worse. Allegedly this phrase was first uttered by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (ca. 1150) but was not attributed to him until early in the seventeenth century. By 1678 it was part of John Ray’s proverb collection, as “Hell is full of good meanings and wishes, but heaven is full of good works.” Dickens was one of the many writers who have referred to it; in Our Mutual Friend (1865) he wrote, “You recollect what pavement is said to be made of good intentions. It is made of bad intentions, too.”
See also: good, hell, pave, road, to, way
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
References in periodicals archive ?
Judge Rupert Bursell, the diocesan chancellor, told the Rev Tom Thubron: "The way to hell is paved with good intentions."
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