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proverb

[ prov-erb ]
/ ˈprɒv ərb /
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See synonyms for: proverb / pro-verbs on Thesaurus.com

noun

a short popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought; adage; saw.
a wise saying or precept; a didactic sentence.
a person or thing that is commonly regarded as an embodiment or representation of some quality; byword.
Bible. a profound saying, maxim, or oracular utterance requiring interpretation.

verb (used with object)

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Origin of proverb

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English proverbe, from Middle French, from Latin prōverbium “adage,” equivalent to prō-pro-1 + verb(um)word + -ium-ium

synonym study for proverb

1. Proverb, maxim are terms for short, pithy sayings. A proverb is such a saying popularly known and repeated, usually expressing simply and concretely, though often metaphorically, a truth based on common sense or the practical experience of humankind: “A stitch in time saves nine.” A maxim is a brief statement of a general and practical truth, especially one that serves as a rule of conduct or a precept: “It is wise to risk no more than one can afford to lose.”

OTHER WORDS FROM proverb

prov·erb·like, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH proverb

adage, aphorism, apothegm, axiom, maxim, proverb

Definition for proverb (2 of 2)

pro-verb
[ proh-vurb ]
/ ˈproʊˌvɜrb /

noun Grammar.

a word that can substitute for a verb or verb phrase, as do in They never attend board meetings, but we do regularly.

Origin of pro-verb

First recorded in 1905–10; by analogy with pronoun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use proverb in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for proverb

proverb
/ (ˈprɒvɜːb) /

noun

a short, memorable, and often highly condensed saying embodying, esp with bold imagery, some commonplace fact or experience
a person or thing exemplary in respect of a characteristicAntarctica is a proverb for extreme cold
ecclesiast a wise saying or admonition providing guidance

verb (tr)

to utter or describe (something) in the form of a proverb
to make (something) a proverb

Word Origin for proverb

C14: via Old French from Latin prōverbium, from verbum word
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

Cultural definitions for proverb

proverb

A brief, memorable saying that expresses a truth or belief, such as “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” (See examples under “Proverbs.”)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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