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Necessity is the mother of invention

Necessity is the mother of invention is a proverb. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that gives advice or shares a universal truth. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the proverb himself. We will look at the meaning of the phrase necessity is the mother of invention, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Necessity is the mother of invention means when put in a difficult situation, one is likely to be inspired to create a novel or ingenious solution. Plato is often credited with this phrase, however, the proverb necessity is the mother of invention was well known before the phrase appeared in translations of his works. More likely, the translator was responding to the meaning of Plato’s ideas rather than a literal translation of his words. The oldest known use in English of this phrase is found in the work Vulagria, a book of aphorisms written by William Horman in 1519: “Mater artium necessitas.” The oldest known use of the English form, necessity is the mother of invention, is found in Northern Memoirs, calculated for the meridian of Scotland, originally published by Richard Franck in 1658: “Art imitates Nature, and Necessity is the Mother of Invention.”


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Examples

Necessity is the mother of invention, and a good Google search can sometimes yield the answers. (The Wayne Independent)

The adage, necessity is the mother of invention, can aptly be used to describe how city’s small vendors and small-scale traders are swiftly getting accustomed to plastic money and e-wallets. (The Times of India)

If necessity is the mother of invention then surely being cash starved can give a new dimension to the understanding of money laundering. (The Sangai Express)

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