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465 Quotes by Winston Churchill

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Winston Churchill. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Although best known for his wartime leadership as Prime Minister, Churchill was also a Sandhurst-educated soldier, a Nobel Prize-winning writer and historian, a prolific painter, and one of the longest-serving politicians in British history. Apart from two years between 1922 and 1924, he was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1964 and represented a total of five constituencies. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, he was for most of his career a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, though he was also a member of the Liberal Party from 1904 to 1924.

Of mixed English and American parentage, Churchill was born in Oxfordshire to a wealthy, aristocratic family. He joined the British Army in 1895 and saw action in British India, the Anglo-Sudan War, and the Second Boer War, gaining fame as a war correspondent and writing books about his campaigns. Elected a Conservative MP in 1900, he defected to the Liberals in 1904. In H. H. Asquith's Liberal government, Churchill served as President of the Board of Trade and Home Secretary, championing prison reform and workers' social security.

As First Lord of the Admiralty during the First World War, he oversaw the Gallipoli Campaign but, after it proved a disaster, he was demoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He resigned in November 1915 and joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front for six months. In 1917, he returned to government under David Lloyd George and served successively as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, and Secretary of State for the Colonies, overseeing the Anglo-Irish Treaty and British foreign policy in the Middle East. After two years out of Parliament, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin's Conservative government, returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure and depressing the UK economy.

Out of government during his so-called "wilderness years" in the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat of militarism in Nazi Germany. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was re-appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. In May 1940, he became Prime Minister, replacing Neville Chamberlain. Churchill oversaw British involvement in the Allied war effort against the Axis powers, resulting in victory in 1945. After the Conservatives' defeat in the 1945 general election, he became Leader of the Opposition. Amid the developing Cold War with the Soviet Union, he publicly warned of an "iron curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. He lost the 1950 election, but was returned to office the following year in the 1951 election. His second term was preoccupied with foreign affairs, especially Anglo-American relations and preservation of the British Empire. Domestically, his government emphasised house-building and developed a nuclear weapon. In declining health, Churchill resigned as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964. Upon his death in 1965, he received a state funeral.

Widely considered one of the 20th century's most significant figures, Churchill remains popular in the UK and Western world, where he is seen as a victorious wartime leader who played an important role in defending Europe's liberal democracy against the spread of fascism. He is also praised as a social reformer. However, he has been criticised for some wartime events – notably the 1945 bombing of Dresden – and also for his imperialist views, including comments on race.


We do not covet anything from any nation except their respect.



Continuous effort not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.



Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is.



They are decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.



Where my reason, imagination, or interest were not engaged, I would not or could not learn.



I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.



My dear, you are ugly; but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.









Danger, if met head on, can be nearly halved.

Longer Version:

Danger -- if you meet it promptly and without flinching -- you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!



We are all worms, But I do believe that I am a glow worm.



A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.



Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.



We The British have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.



The chief aim of wisdom is to enable one to bear with the stupidity of the ignorant.



When I was younger I made it a rule never to take a strong drink before lunch. Now it is my rule never to do so before breakfast.



Strategy is all very well, but it pays to give thought from time to time to the results.



This is the lesson: Never give in ... never, never, never, never... in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in except to convictions of honor or good taste.



The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.



Experts should be on tap but never on top.



Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most times he will pick himself up and carry on.



I neither want it Brandy nor need it, but I should think it pretty hazardous to interfere with the ineradicable habit of a lifetime.



Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.



When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.



There's something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.



Smoking cigars is like falling in love; first you are attracted to its shape; you stay with it for its flavour; and you must always remember never, never let the flame go out.



A baboon in a forest is a matter of legitimate speculation; a baboon in a zoo is an object of public curiosity; but a baboon in your wife's bed is a cause of the gravest concern.



We would rather see London laid in ruins and ashes than that it should be tamely and abjectly enslaved.



We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.



The United States is like giant boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it, there is no limit to the power it can generate.



In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times.



Politics is not a game, but a serious business.



To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to change often.



Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once.



Never was so much owed by so many to so few.



The press is easier to strangle than to look in the eyes.



The only guide to man is his conscience.



Hatred plays the same part in government as acid in chemistry.



Writing ... it begins as an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, then a master, and finally a tyrant.



What is adequacy? Adequacy is no standard at all.



Much as war attracts me and fascinates my mind with its tremendous situations, I feel more deeply every year ... what vile and wicked folly and barbarism it all is.



Never pass up the chance to sit down or go to the bathroom.



This beginning with Audacity, or being thrown into the middle of it, is already a very great part of the art of painting.



For the first time I heard shots fired in anger, heard bullets strike flesh or whistle through the air.



Do you know why the nose of the bull dog is sloped backwards? So it can keep on breathing without ever letting go.



The maxim of the British people is 'business as usual.'



I have not become the Kings First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.



Christopher Columbus was the first socialist: he didn't know where he was going, he didn't know where he was? and he did it all at taxpayers expense.



In war, truth is often the first casualty.



A world united is better than a world divided, but a world divided is better than a world destroyed.



The only way a man can remain consistent amid changing circumstances is to change with them while preserving the same dominating purpose.



Never stand when you can sit, and never sit when you can lie down.



We build dwellings and thereafter they build us.



Diplomacy is the art of telling plain truths without giving offense.



He spoke with more eloquence than wisdom.



I never slept as soundly as the night following Pearl Harbor. For I knew that The American Race would now be entering the war and it would never be the same.



Americans are a wonderful people: They will always do the right thing -- after exhausting every other possible alternative.



In Franklin Roosevelt there died the greatest American friend we have ever known -- and the greatest champion of freedom who has ever brought help and comfort from the New World to the Old.



Where there is a great deal of free speech there is always a certain amount of foolish speech.



Say what you have to say and the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending -- sit down.



Even the most eminent persons are subject to the laws of gravity.



In Great Britain, governments often change their policies without changing their men. In France, they usually change their men without changing their policy.



Watch your actions, they become your habits.



I would tell myself that I was about to address the largest mass assembly of idiots ever gathered in the history of mankind.



Don't deliver an essay with so many points. No one can absorb it. Just say one thing... Of course, you can say the point in many different ways over and over again with different illustrations.



When eagles are silent, parrots begin to chatter.



An iron curtain has descended over Europe.



We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonalty. But we have our own dreams and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.



Perfecting and selling your writing is a lifelong task. If you are a persistent writer, you can expect your abilities to improve with time. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.



It is no use dealing with illusions and make-believes. We must look at the facts. The world ... is too dangerous for anyone to be able to afford to nurse illusions. We must look at realities.



Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is the allotted span for all we must cram into it!





War, which used to be cruel and magnificent has now become cruel and squalid.



A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow.



Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. He who enjoys it wields a power more durable than that of a great king. He is an independent force in the world.



I have had to eat my own words many times, and I have found it a very nourishing diet.



It is one thing to see the forward path and another to be able to take it. But it is better to have an ambitious plan than none at all.



If, however, there is to be a war of nerves let us make sure our nerves are strong and are fortified by the deepest convictions of our hearts.



We were not made by Nature to work, or even to play, from eight o'clock in the morning till midnight. We ought to break our days and our marches into two.



A heightened sense of the observation of nature is one of the chief delights that have come to me through trying to paint.



At one side of the palette there is white, at the other black; and neither is ever used neat.



The monarchy is so extraordinarily useful. When Britain wins a battle she shouts, God save the Queen; when she loses, she votes down the prime minister.



It is easier to give directions than advice, and more agreeable to have the right to act, even in a limited sphere, than the privilege to talk at large.



There is in the act of preparing, the moment you start caring.





The most frightful of all spectacles is the strength of the civilization without its mercy.



Our free trade plan is quite simple. We say that every citizen shall have the right to buy whatever he wants, wherever he wants, at his own good pleasure, without restriction or discouragement from the state.



I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British instead of the other way around, I might have gotten here on my own.



My education was interrupted only by my schooling.



They said it was only a ground shark; but I was not wholly reassured. It is as bad to be eaten by a ground shark as by any other.



Most of the significant contributions that have been made to society have been made by people who were tired.



I play for high stakes and given an audience -- there is no act too daring or too noble.



Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police.



It always looks so easy to solve problems by taking the line of least resistance.



The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.



Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state.



I myself find waiting more tiring than action.



A love of tradition has never weakened a nation.



Without courage all other virtues lose their meaning.



If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.



Nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile, than vengeance.



I am a sporting man. I always like to give trains and aeroplanes a fair chance of getting away.



I am weary of a task which is done and I hope I shall not shrink when the aftermath ends. My only wish is to live peacefully out the remaining years -- if years they be.





There is a good saying to the effect that when a new book appears one should read an old one. As as author I would not recommend too strict an adherence to this saying.



An aphorism is not an aphorism unless you know what it means.



The is always much to be said for not attempting more than you can do and for making a certainty of what you try. But this principle, like others in life and war, has it exceptions.



Censure is often useful, praise is often deceitful.



The Russians will try all the rooms in a house, enter those that are not locked, and when they come to one that cannot be broken into, they will withdraw and invite you to dine genially that same evening.



An American diplomat is sometimes like a bull who carries his own china shop around with him.



I do not hold that we should rearm in order to fight. I hold that we should rearm in order to parley.



The person of truth must be covered with bodyguards of lies.



A small lie needs a bodyguard of bigger lies to protect it.



Everything trends towards catastrophe and collapse. I am interested, geared up and happy. Is it not horrible to be built like that?



I propose that 100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilized and others put in labour camps to halt the decline of the British race.



The British people are good all through. You can test them as you would put a bucket into the sea and always find it salt.



I began my education at a very early age; in fact, right after I left college.



There is no sphere of human thought in which it is easier to show superficial cleverness and the appearance of superior wisdom than in discussing questions of currency and exchange.



Science bestowed immense new powers on man, and at the same time, created conditions which were largely beyond his comprehension.


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