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Winning is the action of having a victory. One who wins is called a winner. The opposite of winning is losing.

Never change your tactics when winning. Likewise, if you are losing try something new even though it may be foreign to your usual style of play. ~ Harold Keith


  • All games are basically hostile. Winners and losers. We see them all around us: the winners and the losers. The losers can oftentimes become winners, and the winners can very easily become losers.
  • "These children...well, they have no concept. None. All they want to do is win. That is your culture. America spoils chess, as it spoils all things. Art? What art? Winning, all you Americans can think of is winning. Winning and getting rich. Your country is too young to have so much power. Too immature. Yet, because of your power, everybody pays attention. Everybody. You are teaching the world that only one thing matters!"
    • Stephen L. Carter, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), Ch. 26, Sam Loyd's Challenge ("Karl").
  • If we win, nobody will care. If we lose, there will be nobody to care.
    • Winston Churchill, secret session, House of Commons, June 25, 1941. Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James (1974), vol. 6, p. 6438.
  • I will not only give 'em battle, I will lick 'em!
    • Richard William Dowling, , purported remark to a Confederate council of war urging him not to fight. May M. Pray, Dick Dowling's Battle (1936), chapter 10, p. 108. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989). During the Battle of Sabine Pass, September 8, 1863, the Confederates at Fort Griffin did defeat the Union forces trying to occupy southeast Texas. In forty-five minutes, Dowling and his forty-six men captured 350 prisoners, cannon, and two gunboats, while crippling a third, without suffering any casualties.
  • But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
  • You make your own luck, Gig.
    You know what makes a good loser? Practice.
    • Ernest Hemingway, speaking to his son. Reported in Gregory H. Hemingway, Papa, a Personal Memoir (1976), p. 4.
  • This is a set-back, not a defeat. The advantage is mine. I have eternity... and Batman must win every single time... while I need win but once.
  • David Hine Batman Vol 1 #709
  • Whoever can surprize well must Conquer.
    • John Paul Jones, letter to the American commissioners to France, February 10, 1778. Papers of Benjamin Franklin, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Reproduced courtesy of the APS Library. This appears as "Who can surprise well must conquer" in John Paul Jones, Fighter for Freedom and Glory by Lincoln Lorenz, p. xiii (1943).
  • Never change your tactics when winning. Likewise, if you are losing try something new even though it may be foreign to your usual style of play.
    • Harold Keith, Sports and Games (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1941), p. 226
  • Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.
    • Nikita Khrushchev, remark at a Polish embassy reception following the signing of a Moscow-Warsaw joint declaration in Moscow, November 18, 1956.—The Washington Post, November 19, 1956, p. 1.
    • Khrushchev later explained what he had meant in response to a question at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., September 16, 1959: "The expression I used was distorted, and on purpose, because what was meant was not the physical burial of any people but the question of the historical force of development. It is well known that at the present time no one social or economic system is dominant throughout the world, but that there are different systems, social systems in different countries. And those systems change. At one time the most widespread system of society in the world was feudalism. Then capitalism took its place…. We believe that Karl Marx, Engels and Lenin gave scientific proof of the fact that the system, the social system of socialism, would take the place of capitalism … that is why I said that looking at the matter from the historical point of view, socialism, communism, would take the place of capitalism and capitalism thereby would be, so to speak, buried."—Transcript of Khrushchev's address and subsequent question-and-answer session (simultaneous translation), The New York Times, September 17, 1959, p. 18, col. 8.
  • He said that he felt "like the boy that stumped his toe,—'it hurt too bad to laugh, and he was too big to cry'".
    • Abraham Lincoln, reported in John T. Morse, Jr., Abraham Lincoln (1893), vol. 1, p. 149, referring to Lincoln’s defeat by Senator Stephen Douglas in the 1858 senatorial campaign in Illinois. Also reported in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (November 22, 1862), p. 131, attributed to President Lincoln as a response to the Democratic candidate winning the governorship of New York election as "Somewhat like that boy in Kentucky, who stubbed his toe while running to see his sweetheart. The boy said he was too big to cry, and far too badly hurt to laugh"; quoted by Adlai Stevenson in his concession speech following the 1952 presidential election (November 5, 1952): "Someone asked me, as I came in, down on the street, how I felt, and I was reminded of a story that a fellow-townsman of ours used to tell — Abraham Lincoln. They asked him how he felt once after an unsuccessful election. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh". Reported in Walter Johnson, ed., The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson (1974), vol. 4, p. 188.
  • Diane: Coach has lost his sweet disposition. he's turned into a tyrant.
    Sam: Yeah, but he's winning Diane and winning is the most important thing here.
    Diane: Well, I don't think winning is the most important thing here.
    Sam: Well good then, you won't mind losing this argument.
  • For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
    He writes—not that you won or lost—but how you played the Game.
    • Grantland Rice, "Alumnus Football," last two lines, Only the Brave and Other Poems, p. 144 (1941).
  • Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.
    • Henry Russell ("Red") Sanders, Vanderbilt University football coach, c. 1948.—Leo Green, Sportswit, p. 57 (1984). Verified by Scoop Hudgins, Vanderbilt's sports information director 1946–1948, and Fred Russell, retired sports editor of the Nashville, Tennessee, Banner and a friend of Sanders's, who quoted this phrase in his columns at the time. This remark has been widely attributed to football coach Vince Lombardi. In Vince Lombardi on Football, ed. George L. Flynn, vol. 1, chapter 1, p. 16 (1973), Lombardi is quoted, "I have been quoted as saying, ‘Winning is the only thing.' That's a little out of context. What I said is that ‘Winning is not everything—but making the effort to win is.'" Not everyone agrees. Time, September 14, 1970, p. 61, attributed this remark to Lombardi and called it his creed. Bob Rubin, Green Bay's Packers, p. 84 (1973), quotes this from Lombardi's opening talk on the first day of training camp in 1959.
  • I'm so tired of pretending my life isn't perfect and bitching and just winning every second.
  • "The first and most important step in winning sounds so obvious you think everybody does it, but in fact more people mess up than anything else and here is what it is: you have to decide to win. Now that sounds obvious, who wouldn't decide to win, but the thing is, it is not just 'Oh I want to win!' it is 'Oh I would like to win and I prioritize winning above and beyond everything else.' If you haven't made that step you are not ready to win. Winning sounds great on paper, but there are a lot of consequences to winning. There is a lot that comes with winning that you need to be prepared for. If you are not ready to win - if you have not decided to win - you probably won't. Let me tell you a few personal stories of my own: When I was very young as a soccer player I was a very good player. I was very talented - I did a lot of good things with the ball. But I didn't score a lot of goals. I wasn't a goal scoring player and I talked to a friend of mine who was a coach, and he said 'Well, have you practiced your goal scoring celebration? Have you practiced what you do when you score?' I Said 'No why does that matter?' 'You are not prepared to score, you are not even ready to succeed!' "
    • Todd Valentine, Winnergame: Decide To Win (2017)
  • The world is a stage, you are only an actor
    When a game is played, the outcome is fixed
    There will be only one winner, one – one only
    How it matters if this team won or that team lost?
  • I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose!
    • Attributed to Woodrow Wilson in Hugh A. Bone, American Politics and the Party System (1949), p. 482. Reported in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989) as not verified in the writings of Wilson.


  • Life's battle don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can.
    • Lucier, T. J. (2005). How to make money with real estate options: low-cost, low-risk, high-profit strategies for controlling undervalued property-- without the burdens of ownership!, Wiley.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 734. 
    • Variant: Slowly but surely wins the race.
  • Some days you get the bear, other days the bear gets you.
    • Meaning: Some days you win, and some days you lose.
    • Reported in The Economist (2002).
  • He laughs best who laughs last.
    • Meaning: He who wins in the end wins.
    • Ammer, Christine (1997). The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 368. 039572774X. 
  • He who dares wins.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 174. 


  • Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning.
    • Authorship disputed. Attributed to George S. Patton in Patton's Principles : A Handbook for Managers Who Mean It! (1982) by Porter B. Williamson as well as Leadership (1990) by William Safire and Leonard Safir, p. 47, but also attributed to Erwin Rommel‎ from his Infanterie Greift An [Infantry Attacks] (1937) in World War II : The Definitive Visual History (2009) by Richard Holmes, p. 128, and Timelines of History (2011) by DK Publishing, p. 392.