no pain, no gain

Suffering is needed to make progress, as in I've worked for hours on those irregular French verbs, but no pain, no gain. Although this idiom is often associated with athletic coaches who urge athletes to train harder, it dates from the 1500s and was already in John Ray's proverb collection of 1670 as “Without pains, no gains.”

Nearby words

  1. no matter how you slice it,
  2. no news is good news,
  3. no offense,
  4. no one,
  5. no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american people,
  6. no picnic,
  7. no problem,
  8. no rest for the weary,
  9. no shit,
  10. no sir

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