to leave well enough alone

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - leave well enough alone

"to leave well enough alone"

to accept a situation as it is;

to avoid trying to improve a situation because doing something might make it worse


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - leave well enough alone

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: It just isn't fair that Peter does not have to do his fair share of the work.

Colleague 2: After the last major blowup of the office staff, the boss arranged things as they are to keep the peace.

Colleague 1: Still, it is just not right that we all have to do the most work and Peter just cruises.

Colleague 2: Perhaps you need to learn to leave well enough alone.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - leave well enough alone

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Have you finally got that remote controlled exterior window blind working?

Friend 2: Almost. I have got it so that it stops automatically at the bottom of its run but at the top, it just runs the blind right up into the housing unless I stop it manually.

Friend 1: How long have you been working on it?

Friend 2: About five hours in total. I had the top stop working at one point. Then I started playing with the programming again and nothing was working. The blind wouldn't even move. Where it is now is the culmination of five hours of fooling around with the thing.

Friend 1: Perhaps it is time to leave well enough alone. Just stop the blind manually at the top. Otherwise you risk messing the whole thing up again and then you will have to start over.

Test Your Understanding  

to leave well enough alone - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   197   click for frequency by country

to leave well enough alone - Gerund Form:

Leaving well enough alone is a skill to acquire where one recognizes that doing nothing is sometimes the best course of action.

to leave well enough alone - Examples:

1)  So naturally, being someone who couldn't leave well enough alone, I thought about how to solve this issue.

2)  ... without raising a peep among 99% of the population, maybe best leave well enough alone?

3)  ... improved the end result. Kotcheff and Evan Jones knew when to leave well enough alone, a rare skill in any endeavour. 

4)  I of course can't leave well enough alone, so I bought a home highlighting kit..... and turned my beautiful brown hair purple.

5)  ... is even remotely as stupid as I am, that can't leave well enough alone, and make big hot messes like I do? 

6)  ... they won't have to make a decision, and will probably leave well enough alone, knowing that it would be bad publicity if they tried to take it away.

7)  Just couldn't leave well enough alone even knowing her own closet is full of ghosts.

8)  ... unable to trust their judgement. In contrast, people who leave well enough alone are indicating their status as accepting of themselves and probably of others.

9)  Why can't the gods leave well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence.

10)  But scientists have not been content enough to leave well enough alone. They have persistently sought chinks in the Newtonian armour.

11)  ... all the flaws, if there are any, we should "leave well enough alone". If that is to be the outcome, so be it. 

12)  Exactly right.... if the do-gooders would leave well enough alone and let the process work we wouldn't be taking so long.

13)  That diplomat would have been alive today if people had learned to leave well enough alone.

14)  ... in two minds about whether to meddle and tell her, or leave well enough alone.

15)  There are so many tips I could add but will leave well enough alone for now. 

16)  ... had nothing to do with that stuff and they just couldn't leave well enough alone and had to bring it in here!

17)  Robin, you're an authoritarian despot who just can't leave well enough alone to make an argument and then let people make up their own minds.

18)  I will ask questions. I will not just leave well enough alone cause someone told me I should. 

19)  Ideals lead to destructive experimentation. Idealists never learn to leave well enough alone

20)  ... for a while, but the problem is, they can't leave well enough alone. The logic of their system demands that they keep taking.