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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[sey-ing] /ˈseɪ ɪŋ/
something said, especially a proverb or apothegm.
go without saying, to be completely self-evident; be understood:
It goes without saying that you are welcome to visit us at any time.
Origin of saying
1250-1300; Middle English (gerund); see say1, -ing1
1. maxim, adage, saw, aphorism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sayings
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mary, in the mean time, "kept all these sayings in her heart."

  • Some of his sayings were shrewd and sharp; but he was sometimes aggressive.

  • One of her pleasures consisted in calling to mind the sayings of the old man.

    A Zola Dictionary J. G. Patterson
  • Years later the most striking of these sayings were collected and published.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • Therefore listen and excuse my doings then and my sayings now.

    Symposium Plato
British Dictionary definitions for sayings


a maxim, adage, or proverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sayings



"utterance, recitation, action of the verb 'say,' " c.1300, verbal noun from say (v.); meaning "something that has been said" (usually by someone thought important) is from c.1300; sense of "a proverb" is first attested mid-15c.

Ça va sans dire, a familiar French locution, whose English equivalent might be "that is a matter of course," or "that may be taken for granted." But recently it has become the tendency to translate it literally, "that goes without saying," and these words, though originally uncouth and almost unmeaning to the unpractised ear, are gradually acquiring the exact meaning of the French. [Walsh, 1892]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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