too much of a good thing

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

too much of a good thing

  1. Something enjoyable or beneficial which, nevertheless, becomes bothersome or harmful in large quantities or over an extended period of time.
    • 1814, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, ch. 19:
      "If I must say what I think," continued Mr. Rushworth, "in my opinion it is very disagreeable to be always rehearsing. It is having too much of a good thing. I am not so fond of acting as I was at first."
    • 1864, Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington, ch. 4:
      "I like a woman with spirit," said Cradell.
      "Oh, so do I. But one may have too much of a good thing."
    • c. 1922, D. H. Lawrence, "Tickets, Please" in England, My England:
      "That you won't either," said Muriel, "Two's company; seven's too much of a good thing."
    • 2003, James Geary, "Risky Business," TIMEeurope, 20 July (retrieved 16 Nov 2010):
      Household chemicals are about as personal as modern science gets. We are surrounded by hundreds of them every day — they're in our furnishings, our cosmetics, our vinyl floor tiles and plastic baby bottles. . . . Are they too much of a good thing?