course of true love never ran smoothly, the

Lovers often face difficulties, as in Every time he tells me that he and his wife are fighting, I say the same thing—you know about the course of true love. The full term is a quotation from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1:1): “The course of true love never did run smooth.” Over the years it has become so familiar that today it is often shortened, as in the example.

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