build a better mousetrap

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A shortening of build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

Derived from:

If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Verb[edit]

build a better mousetrap

  1. (idiomatic) To invent the next great thing; to have a better idea.
    Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door. misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Of all the inventors to obtain patents, only a few have really built a better mousetrap.