[ prov-erb ]
/ ˈprɒv ərb /
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)
to utter in the form of a proverb.
to make (something) the subject of a proverb.
to make a byword of.
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Origin of proverb
SYNONYMS FOR proverb
1 aphorism, apothegm. 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 proverbprov·erb·like, adjective
Words nearby proverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for proverbed
/ (ˈprɒvɜːb) /
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
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 proverbed
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.