Two wrongs don’t make a right

Two wrongs don’t make a right is a proverb. We will examine the meaning of the proverb two wrongs don’t make a right, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The phrase two wrongs don’t make a right means one is not justified in performing a misdeed simply because someone else has performed a misdeed. Two wrongs don’t make a right admonishes the listener to not to try exact revenge, because no good will come of it. The proverb is often quoted to children who seek revenge on someone who has wronged them. The expression two wrongs don’t make a right dates to the 1700s; Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence is credited with citing the sentiment in a letter in 1783.

Examples

The principle the court applied is sound, and it’s a fundamental cornerstone of our justice system: two wrongs don’t make a right. (Reuters)

Two wrongs don’t make a right but Putin’s Russia and Biden’s United States are right about each other’s suppression of dissent and crackdown on opposition – helped in both countries by a compliant news media, and in the US, a self-important and hypocritical press at that. (South China Morning Post)

Fair enough, though count me in on the two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right school of jurisprudence. (Washington Post)

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