All that glitters is not gold


Things that appear on the surface to be of great value may be quite worthless.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with all that glitters is not gold

all that glitters is not gold

Something attractive is not always what it seems, as in This house is really beautiful, but a close look will show dry rot near the foundation—all that glitters is not gold. Aesop stated the same idea in two of his fables (c. 600 b.c.), and a version close to the current wording appeared in 1175.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.