[ sey-ing ]
/ ˈseɪ ɪŋ /


something said, especially a proverb or apothegm.

Nearby words

  1. saybolt universal seconds,
  2. saye,
  3. sayers,
  4. sayers, dorothy leigh,
  5. sayest,
  6. sayonara,
  7. sayreville,
  8. says,
  9. says who?,
  10. sayst


    go without saying, to be completely self-evident; be understood: It goes without saying that you are welcome to visit us at any time.

Origin of saying

1250–1300; Middle English (gerund); see say1, -ing1

Origin of say

before 900; Middle English seyen, seggen, Old English secgan; cognate with Dutch zeggen, German sagen, Old Norse segja; akin to saw3

Related formssay·er, noun


[ sey ]
/ seɪ /

verb (used with object), noun British Dialect.

Origin of say

1350–1400; Middle English sayen, aphetic variant of assayen to assay Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for saying

British Dictionary definitions for saying


/ (ˈseɪɪŋ) /


a maxim, adage, or proverb
Derived Formssayer, noun

Word Origin for say

Old English secgan; related to Old Norse segja, Old Saxon seggian, Old High German sagēn


/ (seɪ) /


archaic a type of fine woollen fabric

Word Origin for say

C13: from Old French saie, from Latin saga, plural of sagum a type of woollen cloak

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 saying
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with saying


In addition to the idioms beginning with say

  • say a mouthful
  • say grace
  • say one's piece
  • says who?
  • say the word
  • say uncle

also see:

  • before you can say Jack Robinson
  • cry (say) uncle
  • do as I say
  • give (say) the word
  • go without (saying)
  • have a say in
  • I dare say
  • I'll say
  • needless to say
  • never say die
  • never say never
  • not to mention (say nothing of)
  • on one's say-so
  • strange to say
  • suffice it to say
  • that is (to say)
  • to say the least
  • you can say that again
  • you don't say

Also see undersaid.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.