a bird in the hand
Something of some value that is already acquired. Taken from the proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” which means that having something, even if it is a lesser quantity, is better than taking the chance of losing it in order to attain something else that seems more desirable. Stephen: “I enjoy dating Nicole, but I’d really like to ask Debbie to dinner.” Mark: “If you do that, Nicole will break up with you. Don’t forget that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
bird in the hand
A benefit available now is more valuable than some possibly larger future benefit. For example, Bob thinks he might do better in a bigger firm, but his wife insists he should stay, saying a bird in the hand . This expression, which in full is A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, was an ancient Greek proverb. It was well known in English by about 1400 and has been repeated so frequently that it is often shortened.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a bird in the hand
You say a bird in the hand to mean that it is better to keep what you already have than to try to get something better and risk having nothing at all. The question now is will Carmichael live to regret turning down such a lucrative offer? A bird in the hand … Note: You can also use the phrase a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so holiday resorts will reward you for booking early.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
a bird in hand
something that you have securely or are sure of.
This phrase refers to the proverb a bird in hand is worth two in the bush , current in English since the mid 15th century.
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bird in the hand, a
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer