measure twice and cut once

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Proverb[edit]

measure twice and cut once

  1. (carpentry, literally) One should double-check one's measurements for accuracy before cutting a piece of wood; otherwise it may be necessary to cut again, wasting time and material.
    • 1872, "Dressmaking," Hall's Journal of Health, vol. 19, no. 12, p. 280:
      Look at Carpenters! . . . In old times it was a proverb "Measure twice, and cut once."
  2. (figuratively, by extension) Plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner before taking action.
    • 2008, Hilary Johnson, "Mergers rattle bank relations," Financial Week, 9 Nov. (retrieved 9 Nov. 2008):
      Mr. Paz noted that since the onset of the credit crisis, eBay, like other companies, hasn’t been able to "measure twice and cut once."

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