- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for proverbially
He was the proverbially smooth young man looking to get ahead, and he did.The Real James Bond: Ian Fleming’s Commandos Reviewed
November 19, 2011
"Physicians are proverbially shy of their own medicines," said he.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
Was not a Spaniard proverbially as quick to love as to jealousy?The Historical Nights' Entertainment
He belongs to that class of Englishmen who proverbially speak the truth.Paul Patoff
F. Marion Crawford
Proverbially the worst part of an attack was waiting for it.
Servants are proverbially lavish and careless in this matter.The Young Maiden
A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
- (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
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
Word Origin and History for proverbially
early 15c. (implied in proverbially.), from Late Latin proverbialis "pertaining to a proverb," from proverbium (see proverb).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper