feeling of a human who is not content

Discontent is a dissatisfaction, a longing for better times or circumstances.


  • And sigh that one thing only has been lent
    To youth and age in common,—discontent.
  • In such a strait the wisest may well be perplexed, and the boldest staggered.
    • Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770), Volume I, p. 516.
  • Whoe'er was edified, themselves were not.
  • How is it Maecenas, that no one lives contented with his lot, whether he has planned it for himself or fate has flung him into it, but yet he praises those who follow different paths?
    • Horace, Satires, Book I (35-30 BC)
  • ὁ μισῶν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ τούτῳ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον φυλάξει αὐτήν.
    • He who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
  • I see your brows are full of discontent,
    Your hearts of sorrow and your eyes of tears.
  • When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
    Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least.
  • Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.
  • Poor in abundance, famish'd at a feast.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 44.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 195.
  • The best things beyond their measure cloy.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XIII, line 795. Pope's translation.
  • Qui fit, Mæcenas, ut nemo quam sibi sortem,
    Seu ratio dederit, seu fors objecerit, illa
    Contentus vivat? laudet diversa sequentes.
    • How does it happen, Mæcenas, that no one is content with that lot in life which he has chosen, or which chance has thrown in his way, but praises those who follow a different course?
    • Horace, Satires, I. 1. 1.
  • Æstuat infelix angusto limite mundi.
    • Unhappy man! He frets at the narrow limits of the world.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), X. 168.
  • To sigh, yet feel no pain,
    To weep, yet scarce know why;
    To sport an hour with Beauty's chain,
    Then throw it idly by.
  • We love in others what we lack ourselves, and would be everything but what we are.
  • The thirst to know and understand,
    A large and liberal discontent;
    These are the goods in life's rich hand,
    The things that are more excellent.
  • And from the discontent of man
    The world's best progress springs.

See also