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.
to utter in the form of a proverb.
to make (something) the subject of a proverb.
to make a byword of.
- prov·erb·like, adjective
Other definitions for pro-verb (2 of 2)
a word that can substitute for a verb or verb phrase, as do in They never attend board meetings, but we do regularly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use proverb in a sentence
Beekeeping tradition runs so deep that in the Slovenian language, saying one’s “ax fell into the honey” is a proverb used to describe a sudden stroke of good luck.The secret to healthy honey bees is hiding in Slovenia | Megan Zhang / Saveur | January 17, 2022 | Popular-Science
These are not, contrary to what proverbs and conventional wisdom might suggest, rocks and stones, but living entities.Our Little Life Is Rounded with Possibility - Issue 102: Hidden Truths | Chiara Marletto | June 9, 2021 | Nautilus
I think of the proverbs we have around second times—second choice, second place, second fiddle, eternal second.Does Birth Order Really Determine Personality? Here's What the Research Says | Lynn Berger | April 13, 2021 | Time
Look for efficient pathsAccording to an old proverb, “There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.”How buyers can implement supply path optimization for in-app media buying | Inmobi | April 5, 2021 | Digiday
A consulting firm based in the United States paid its taxes there, while a factory based in Beijing would render unto China what is China’s, to modernize the old biblical proverb.Can These Creative Taxes Catch Up With a Changing World? | Nick Fouriezos | January 14, 2021 | Ozy
This work takes a page from President Ronald Reagan, who liked to repeat the Russian proverb “trust but verify.”
In the case of Kudo-kai case boss Nomura, the appropriate Japanese proverb appears to be: “The mouth is the gate of misfortune.”
The catch phrase, which Reagan borrowed from a Russian proverb, was “trust but verify.”Mike Leach Tackles Geronimo the Motivational Murderer | James A. Warren | August 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Latin proverb “Times Change and We Change With Them” used to be memorized by generations of students of Latin.
The rich,” according to a Spanish proverb, “laugh carefully.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview | Alex Belth | February 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The variety of taste in snuff is accounted for by the proverb, "So many men to so many noses."Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
M. Mon here quotes a Latin proverb:—'Qui plus castigat, plus amore ligat.'
Behold every one that useth a common proverb, shall use this against thee, saying: As the mother was, so also is her daughter.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
There is an obvious allusion in this line to the common proverb—'As fain as fowl of a fair morrow,' which is quoted in the Kn.
This is only another form of a proverb which also occurs as 'Well fights he who well flies.'
British Dictionary definitions for proverb
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 characteristic: Antarctica is a proverb for extreme cold
ecclesiast a wise saying or admonition providing guidance
to utter or describe (something) in the form of a proverb
to make (something) a 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
Cultural definitions for 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.