less is more

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less is more

  1. (paradox, oxymoron) That which is of smaller quantity could be of higher quality.
  2. That which is less complicated is often better understood and more appreciated than what is more complicated; brevity in communication is more effective than verbosity.
    • 1855, Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto" poem in Men and Women collection:
      Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.
    • 1954 June 14, “‘Less Is More’”, in Time:
      The essence of Mies's architectural philosophy is in his famous and sometimes derided phrase, "Less is more." This means, he says, having "the greatest effect with the least means."
    • 2007 March 3, Gia Kourlas, “Dance Review: An Ordered World Defined With Soothing Spareness”, in New York Times, retrieved 22 October 2008:
      The program, which features two premieres—"Songs," a solo, and "The Pleasure of Stillness," a quartet—is founded on the notion that less is more.

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