kill two birds with one stone

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Apparently coined by Dr. John Bramhall, Bishop of Derry, in a 1646 letter to Thomas Hobbes, later published in 1656.[1]

Compare earlier stop two gaps with one bush.


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kill two birds with one stone (third-person singular simple present kills two birds with one stone, present participle killing two birds with one stone, simple past and past participle killed two birds with one stone)

  1. (idiomatic) To solve two problems with one single action.
    Biking to work kills two birds with one stone. It saves money travelling and will help to lose weight.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sir William Molesworth, Bart. (1841), “The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance”, in English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, The; London: John Bohn, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, p. 25.