90 Mark Twain Quotes (On Life, Education, Travel)

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

Famous QuotesFunny QuotesDeep Quotes – Fake Quotes – Life Quotes – Education QuotesTakeaways – Further Readings

mark twain quotes life education wisdom
Here are 90 of the best Mark Twain quotes.

And if you’re a quotes lover like I am, you certainly saw a few of his quotes all over the web.

Indeed, he’s one of the most quoted people in the world, like Einstein or Gandhi.

What will you learn from Mark Twain?

  • Conformity gets you nowhere
  • Humor is a useful tool in today’s society
  • Self-knowledge is more important than we think
  • And many other things…

But who was Mark Twain exactly?

  • His real name was Samuel Clemens
  • He was a social critic who used satire to comment on popular issues
  • He was an American author, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer (1835 – 1910)
  • His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  • He was even called “the father of American literature”

I hope you’ll learn and be entertained as much as I did.


Famous Mark Twain Quotes

mark twain quotes whenever find yourself side majority wisdom

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect). Mark Twain

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. Mark Twain

All generalizations are false, including this one. Mark Twain

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. Mark Twain

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. Mark Twain

Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Mark Twain

mark twain quotes need life ignorance confidence success wisdom

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. Mark Twain

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. Mark Twain

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mark Twain

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. Mark Twain


Funny Mark Twain Quotes

mark twain quotes clear conscience sure sign bad memory wisdom

A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory. Mark Twain

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. Mark Twain

I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. Mark Twain

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. Mark Twain

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow just as well. Mark Twain

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know. Mark Twain

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident. Mark Twain

God created war so that Americans would learn geography. Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Mark Twain

Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it. Mark Twain

Consider the average intelligence of the common man, then realize 50% are even stupider. Mark Twain

When angry, count four. When very angry, swear. Mark Twain

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead. Mark Twain

Optimist: person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness. Mark Twain

Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled. Mark Twain

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Mark Twain

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Mark Twain


Deep Mark Twain Quotes

mark twain quotes thousands geniuses live die wisdom

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered — either by themselves or by others. Mark Twain

Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied. Mark Twain

There is no such thing as material covetousness. All covetousness is spiritual. Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. Mark Twain

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. Mark Twain

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. Mark Twain

Synergy – the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously. Mark Twain

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it. Mark Twain

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. Mark Twain

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. Mark Twain

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries. Mark Twain

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one. Mark Twain

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar. Mark Twain

mark twain quotes courage resistance fear absence wisdom

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. Mark Twain

Be good and you will be lonesome. Mark Twain

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. Mark Twain

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. Mark Twain

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option. Mark Twain

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first. Mark Twain

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain

The offspring of riches: Pride, vanity, ostentation, arrogance, tyranny. Mark Twain

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice. Mark Twain

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

A discriminating irreverence is the creator and protector of human liberty. Mark Twain

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. Mark Twain

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself. Mark Twain



Mark Twain Quotes About Life

mark twain quotes change your life need priorities wisdom

To change your life, you need to change your priorities. Mark Twain

Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life. Mark Twain

When in doubt, tell the truth. Mark Twain

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too can become great. Mark Twain

A man’s first duty is to his own conscience and honor; the party and country come second to that, and never first. Mark Twain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain

Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe. Mark Twain

I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. Mark Twain

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination. Mark Twain

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. Mark Twain

mark twain quotes focus more desire doubt dream wisdom

Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself. Mark Twain

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Mark Twain

Do your duty today and repent tomorrow. Mark Twain

Never regret anything that made you smile. Mark Twain

The holy passion of friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money. Mark Twain

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up. Mark Twain

The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people. Mark Twain

Loyalty to your country always, loyalty to your government when it deserves it. Mark Twain

Reality can be beaten with enough imagination. Mark Twain

For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment. Mark Twain

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession. Mark Twain

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Mark Twain


Mark Twain Quotes About Education

mark twain quotes education consists mainly unlearned wisdom

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. Mark Twain

The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education. Mark Twain

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist. Mark Twain

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. Mark Twain

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Mark Twain

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty. Mark Twain

When a teacher calls a boy by his entire name, it means trouble. Mark Twain

′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read. Mark Twain

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection. Mark Twain

Fake Mark Twain Quotes

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Source

History never repeats itself but it rhymes. Source

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Source

A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. Source

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Source

Never argue with stupid people, because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. Source

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. Source

The Best Mark Twain Quote

mark twain quotes great person others around wisdom

To be great, truly great, you have to be the kind of person who makes the others around you great. Mark Twain

Key Takeaways

  • Nonconformity: Mark Twain taught us to reflect on societal norms and their absurdities. He taught us to ask questions, value skepticism, and think independently.
  • Humor: Through Twain’s quotes, we see his wit and humor. He never hesitated to critique and comment on society, often through humor. He also never took himself seriously and showed self-deprecating humor.
  • Self-knowledge: Through his character Huck Finn, Twain showed the importance of self-knowledge and self-reflection. How to apply this? Spend more time with yourself. Meditate. Journal to better understand yourself. Ask yourself what you stand for. What are your top 3 values? Why? What irritates you about other people? Self-knowledge leads to inner peace.

mark twain

Further Readings

Pin this image!
mark twain quotes life education wisdom

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Don't forget to share!

Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

November 14, 2023

Disclaimer: This article may include affiliate links to books and products we think are useful for our readers. If you choose buy through links on this page, we may earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. In the end, this will help WisdomQuotes become better. Thank you.