110 Famous Quotes from Winston Churchill

Who has never heard or read quotes from Winston Churchill?! This British statesman, known for his talents as a speaker and writer, left us a multitude of famous phrases on politicswardemocracysuccess, thus continuing to inspire the whole world!

Winston Churchill played a major role in world politics, especially during the Second World War, and it is quite fascinating to learn about the life of Churchill and to grasp all the ingenuity of his famous quotes within the socio-economic context of their era! In this article, you will find a compilation of the 110 best quotes from Winston Churchill and a summary of the journey of this politician who made history.

Who was Winston Churchill before becoming a famous politician?

Winston Churchill war

Winston Churchill is born in 1874 in England to an aristocratic family. He grows up in a very privileged environment. During his childhood, little Winston doesn’t stand out particularly: he is not a very good student and his health is fragile. He would, for the first time, fail the entrance exam to the military school, to then be ultimately admitted in 1893.

At the end of his military school, the young Winston is quickly appointed cavalry officer. Adventurous and spirited, he would continue his military career in India, Sudan, and South Africa (Boer War). Then, in 1899, Winston Churchill enters politics, first in the Conservative party and then in the Liberal party. He would nearly be elected in the parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, Winston Churchill devotes himself to writing. In 1908, he marries Clementine Hozier, with whom he would have five children.

Winston Churchill, British Statesman

A checkered political career

At the age of 26, Winston Churchill is finally elected MP. From his first years in politics, the young Churchill would stand out for his caustic speeches and his calls for reform. From 1906 to 1929, he would hold various ministerial posts and experience a frustrating political journey.

It is during the First World War, then the Second World War that Winston Churchill would especially stand out. Several positions and actions make him popular. In particular, Winston Churchill multiplies warnings on the dangers of Nazism when Hitler comes to power. Events would quickly prove him right.

The symbol of English resistance to Nazism

In 1939, when the United Kingdom and France go to war with Germany, Churchill’s predictions would turn out very real.

First appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1940 (after Neville Chamberlain), at the age of 66. He would remain in power until the end of hostilities in 1945 but would be re-elected again after the conflict, from 1951 to 1955.

During his tenure, Winston Churchill’s policy is oriented towards a single objective: that of defeating Hitler. Consequently, an uncompromising war leader and firmly determined to lead his country to victory, Churchill would motivate the troops. His incisive language against the enemy galvanizes all of England and makes him the symbol of English resistance to Nazism.

Winston Churchill would receive numerous decorations throughout his life. He would notably be proclaimed an honorary citizen of the United States.

Winston Churchill, great figure of the 20th century

Winston Churchill war

At the age of 90, Winston Churchill dies in London in 1965 after a stroke. National funerals are organized. His funeral represents the largest gathering of heads of state in the world (until the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005): 112 countries would be in attendance.

Winston Churchill or the Talented Artist

A writer’s life in conjunction with his political career

In addition to his political role during the Second World War, Winston Churchill would emerge as a talented writer, painter, and speaker. He would first write as a journalist (war correspondent), then would write many other works, mostly historical, including a biography of his ancestor the Duke of Marlborough, and his famous War Memories. Winston Churchill would obtain the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

A long bibliography

Among his many works, we can cite:

  • The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War”, 1898
  • The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan“, 1899
  • Savrola“, 1900
  • From London to Ladysmith via Pretoria“, 1900
  • Ian Hamiltons’s March“, London, 1900
  • Lord Randolph Churchill“, 1906
  • My African Journey“, 1908
  • My Early Life“, 1930
  • The World Crisis” in 6 volumes, 1923-31
  • His Life and Times” in 4 volumes, 1933
  • Great Contemporaries”, 1939
  • The Second World War” in 6 volumes, 1948-1954
  • “The War Speeches”, 1939-45 ″, 1952
  • A History of the English-Speaking Peoples” in 4 volumes, 1956

Best Quotes from Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill Quotes on War

  • “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war.”
  • “A prisoner of war is someone who tries to kill you, fails and then asks you not to kill him.”
  • “If war is horrible, servitude is worse.”
  • “After the war, I had two choices: to end my life as an MP, or to end it as an alcoholic. I thank God for having guided my choice so well: I am no longer an MP!”
  • “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
  • “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.”
  • “Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar.”
  • “In war, the maxim ‘safety first’ leads straight to ruin.”
  • “In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”
  • “There is only one answer to defeat, and that is victory.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Success and Failure

  • “Everyone knew it was impossible to do. Then one day someone came who did not know it, and he did it.”
  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
  • “When you make a serious mistake, it can be more useful to you than the best weighed decision.”
  • “It is not enough that we do our best. We must do what is required.”
  • “Always act as if it is impossible to fail.”
  • “It is only at night that the stars shine.”
  • “History is written by the victors.”
  • “Luck doesn’t exist. What we call luck is attention to detail.”
  • “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
  • “Everyone has their hour of glory, but some hours last longer than others.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Courage

  • “Courage is what it takes to get up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and keep quiet.”
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
  • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
  • “Taking action erases fear. Who dares wins.”
  • “Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.”
  • “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
  • “One must never forget when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse.”
  • “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.”
  • “Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Entrepreneurship and Responsibility

Winston Churchill war

  • “Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.”
  • “The price of greatness is responsibility.”
  • “It is better to be irresponsible and right, than responsible and wrong.”
  • “What characterizes a great man is his ability to leave a lasting impression on the people he meets.”
  • “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
  • “True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.”
  • “The further you can look into the past, the further you will see into the future.”
  • “When you get what you want from something, you don’t ask for more.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Politics

  • “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”
  • “In politics when you are in doubt as what to do, do nothing … when you are in doubt as what to say, say what you really think.”
  • “If you are not liberal at twenty, it is because you have no heart; if you are not conservative at forty, then you have no brains.”
  • “Committee: a group of people unable to do anything by themselves who collectively decide that nothing can be done!”
  • “Dealing with the most serious things in the world is only possible if you also understand the most trivial things.”
  • “Politics is more dangerous than war… In war, you can only be killed once. In politics, many times.”
  • “There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away.”
  • “Having faith in the perfection of man is very good in a man of the Church, not in a Prime Minister.”
  • “I do not contradict Mr. MP when a truth escapes him from time to time.”
  • “Young man, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on States and Statesmen

  • “If Hitler invades hell, we should be ready to ally ourselves with Satan.”
  • “I see little glory in an Empire which can rule the waves but is unable to flush its own sewers.”
  • “When I am abroad, I make it my duty never to criticize or attack the government of my country.  I make up for lost time when I come home.”
  • “The beneficial influence which the wives of our statesmen exerted on the lives of their husbands is a chapter of the history of England which remains to be written…”
  • “There are necessarily many times in the life of a statesman where he depends on the love, insight, deep compassion and dedication of his wife.”
  • “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
  • “England crumbles in order, France gets up in disorder.”
  • “The Americans: their national psychology is such that the bigger the idea, the more they strive to carry it out, putting all their heart and all their strength into it. It’s an admirable trait, provided the idea is good.”
  • “I looked after De Gaulle a bit like raising a young dog, but he is now biting the hand that fed him.”
  • “A country that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Socialism and Communism

  • “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
  • “Under capitalism, people have more cars. Under communism, they have more parking lots.”
  • “Christopher Columbus was the first socialist. He didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know where he was, and he did it all at the taxpayer’s expense.”
  • “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, a principle of ignorance and the gospel of jealousy.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Democracy


  • “Democracy is the worst system of government, with the exception of all the others that have been tried in history.”
  • “Democracy is a bad system, but it is the least bad of all systems.”
  • “The difference between dictatorship and democracy? In a democracy, when someone knocks on your door at 6 a.m., it’s the milkman.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Writing and Speech

  • “We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.”
  • “Writing a book is an adventure.To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.”
  • “If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.”
  • “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”
  • “By swallowing evil word unsaid, no one has ever yet harmed his stomach.”
  • “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Change

  • “We must take change by the hand or rest assuredly, change will take us by the throat.”
  • “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
  • “There is nothing negative about change, if it is in the right direction.”
  • “To improve, you have to change. So, to be perfect, you have to change often.”
  • “There is nothing wrong with changing your mind. Provided that you’re right.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Life and Society

  • “We make a living with what we receive, but we make sense of it with what we give.”
  • “Life is a whole, and good and ill must be accepted together. The journey has been enjoyable and well worth making – once.”
  • “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
  • “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
  • “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
  • “Fortunately, life is not so easy, otherwise we would come to the end too quickly.”
  • “One of the problems in our society is that people don’t want to be useful, but important.”
  • “The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.”
  • “A society can starve without revolting, however, take justice away and the knives will come out.”
  • “The greatest lesson of history is that the human race is incapable of learning.”
  • “The empires of the future will be spiritual.”
  • “I am an optimist; it does not seem very useful to be anything else.”
  • “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
  • “Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals”
  • “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile-hoping it will eat him last.”
  • “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Criticism and Opinion

  • Criticism may be unpleasant, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body; it calls attention to the development of an unhealthy state of things.”
  • “It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.”
  • “If two people always have the same view, one of them is redundant.”
  • “Some men change parties based on their opinions; others change opinions based on their parties.”
  • “It is a beautiful thing to be honest, but it is also important to be right.”
  • “I’m always willing to learn, although I don’t always like being taught.”
  • “I do not resent criticism, even when for the sake of emphasis; it parts for the time with reality.”
  • “You can force people to obey you or submit, but you can’t force them to agree.”

Winston Churchill Quotes on Alcohol

  • “When I was younger, my rule was never to drink hard alcohol before lunch. Now, my rule is to never do so before breakfast.”
  • “The secret of my vitality? I have blood as red blood cells: Alcohol has long since killed all my white blood cells …”
  • “I got more out of alcohol than alcohol got out of it.”
  • “Do not think that I smoke all day! I am far too tempering for that. They are actually fake cigars: they are hollow and filled with cognac inside…”

Unclassifiable Winston Churchill Quotes

  • “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” (famous phrase pronounced during the political inauguration speech of Churchill as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)
  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away… if you aim it well enough.” (pun intended, referring to the English proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away“)
  • “- Lady Astor: Mr. Churchill, if I were your wife, I would put poison in your coffee! – Churchill: Well, if I were your husband, I would drink it!”
  • “We are all worms… But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.”
  • “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”
  • “Every morning I bring my wife coffee in bed. All she has to do is grind it.”
  • “A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.”
  • “I never believe a statistic unless I have falsified it myself.”
  • “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”
  • “History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.”
  • “It is always wise to look ahead, but it is difficult to look further than you can see.”

What about you, what is your favorite Winston Churchill quote? Don’t hesitate to share this quote in the comments and tell us what you think about it!

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