Slow And Steady Wins The Race


Hastily jumping into an activity, job, or something else can cause problems; sometimes a more consistent approach, even if it is slower, can be ideal and give better results.

Example: I worked out at the gym for the first time in years. However, I think I overdid it because I’m really sore. After I recover, I’ll try starting with lighter exercises next time and gradually build up from there—slow and steady wins the race.

1. Slowly but surely
2. Take it slow

Tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.


As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race, but where does this term come from? The origin is believed to be from one of Aesop’s fables. Aesop was a Greek fabulist, and it’s believed that he lived around the time of 620 to 560 B.C.E. He wrote numerous fables that are known collectively as Aesop’s Fables.

One of the stories credited to his name is one that you’ve probably heard before—The Tortoise and the Hare. In this story, a hare makes fun of a tortoise for being slow. The tortoise then challenges the hare to a race. Amused by the idea, the hare accepts. He believes there is no way he could possibly lose to a slow turtle. With the course set and ready to go, the race begins and the hare quickly darts down the path, leaving his fellow green contender in the dust.

It’s not long before the hare builds a strong lead. In fact, his lead is so strong that he decides to take a nap! Meanwhile, the tortoise continues plodding along, running at a slow and steady pace until he eventually catches up and even passes the napping hare! Shortly after, the hare wakes up only to see the tortoise moments away from finishing the race. He desperately tries to catch up, running as fast as he can, but it’s too late, the tortoise crosses the finish line and wins the race.

That’s pretty much the story. Indeed, the tortoise ran all the way to the finish, and even though he was slow, he was persistent. Thus, it’s believed the moral of the story is ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and that this is where the phrase comes from.

Example Sentences

  • When I started learning the piano, I wanted to play my favorite songs right away. However, I soon realized that I had to learn the basics first. Slow and steady wins the race.

Similar Example:

  • Each month I set aside some money so that I could slowly but surely accrue enough cash to buy a new bed.

Tip: Looking for more idioms? Well, Know Your Phrase has a bunch of them, so feel free to explore this site; maybe you will find the one you’re looking for. To see our full list of expressions, pick a letter from the menu at the top. You’ll find the meaning of hundreds of phrases!