- 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.
Origin of proverb
Synonyms 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 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
c.1300, in boke of Prouerbyys, the Old Testament work, from Old French proverbe (12c.) and directly from Latin proverbium "a common saying, old adage, maxim," literally "words put forward," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + verbum "word" (see verb). Used generally from late 14c. The Book of Proverbs in Old English was cwidboc, from cwide "speech, saying, proverb, homily," related to cwiddian "to talk, speak, say, discuss;" cwiddung "speech, saying, report."
A brief, memorable saying that expresses a truth or belief, such as “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” (See examples under “Proverbs.”)