[ pruh-vur-bee-uh l ]
/ prəˈvɜr bi əl /


of, relating to, or characteristic of a proverb: proverbial brevity.
expressed in a proverb or proverbs: proverbial wisdom.
of the nature of or resembling a proverb: proverbial sayings.
having been made the subject of a proverb: the proverbial barn door which is closed too late.
having become an object of common mention or reference: your proverbial inability to get anywhere on time.

Origin of proverbial

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Latin word prōverbiālis. See proverb, -al1


pro·ver·bi·al·ly, adverbun·pro·ver·bi·al, adjectiveun·pro·ver·bi·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for proverbial

British Dictionary definitions for proverbial

/ (prəˈvɜːbɪəl) /


(prenominal) commonly or traditionally referred to, esp as being an example of some peculiarity, characteristic, etc
of, connected with, embodied in, or resembling a proverb

Derived forms of proverbial

proverbially, adverb
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