Look before you leap

Look before you leap is a proverb with roots in ancient times. We will examine the meaning of the proverb look before you leap, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Look before you leap is a proverb that means one should consider all the consequences or all the dangers involved in a course of action before one acts or commits to something. The expression look before you leap is based on a fable written by Aesop in the 500s B.C called The Fox and the Goat. In the fable, a fox falls into a well and cannot get out. A thirsty goat happens by and the fox talks the goat into leaping into the well to get a drink. The goat jumps in without assessing the situation; the fox climbs upon the goat’s back and out of the well and the goat is left, unable to emerge from the well, himself. When the goat asks the fox for help, the fox replies that the goat has only himself to blame for his predicament, because he should have looked before he leaped.

Examples

Look before you leap into online-only banking (The Times)

Look before you leap: Why you should not go off the power grid (Daily Maverick)

If single, you’re attracted to a challenge, but it might be better to look before you leap. (Toronto Star)