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judge a book by its cover, one can't

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One can't rely on outward appearances to know what something or someone is really like. For example, He seems very quiet, but you can't judge a book by its cover. [First half of 1900s]

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

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