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proverb

[prov-erb] /ˈprɒv ərb/
noun
1.
a short popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought; adage; saw.
2.
a wise saying or precept; a didactic sentence.
3.
a person or thing that is commonly regarded as an embodiment or representation of some quality; byword.
4.
Bible. a profound saying, maxim, or oracular utterance requiring interpretation.
verb (used with object)
5.
to utter in the form of a proverb.
6.
to make (something) the subject of a proverb.
7.
to make a byword of.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English proverbe < Middle French < Latin prōverbium adage, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + verb(um) word + -ium -ium
Related forms
proverblike, adjective
Can be confused
Synonyms
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.”.

pro-verb

[proh-vurb] /ˈproʊˌvɜrb/
noun, Grammar
1.
a word that can substitute for a verb or verb phrase, as do in They never attend board meetings, but we do regularly.
Origin
1905-10; by analogy with pronoun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for proverb
  • There is a wise old proverb about beggars and choosers.
  • If it is not a proverb, it ought to be, that self-dispraise goes little ways.
  • Each candle has a proverb engraved into the metal holder.
  • The beginning, as the proverb says, is half the whole.
  • The proverb is defined and its distinguishing characteristics are examined.
British Dictionary definitions for proverb

proverb

/ˈprɒvɜːb/
noun
1.
a short, memorable, and often highly condensed saying embodying, esp with bold imagery, some commonplace fact or experience
2.
a person or thing exemplary in respect of a characteristic: Antarctica is a proverb for extreme cold
3.
(ecclesiast) a wise saying or admonition providing guidance
verb (transitive)
4.
to utter or describe (something) in the form of a proverb
5.
to make (something) a proverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for proverb
n.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proverb in Culture

proverb definition


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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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proverb in the Bible

a trite maxim; a similitude; a parable. The Hebrew word thus rendered (mashal) has a wide signification. It comes from a root meaning "to be like," "parable." Rendered "proverb" in Isa. 14:4; Hab. 2:6; "dark saying" in Ps. 49:4, Num. 12:8. Ahab's defiant words in answer to the insolent demands of Benhadad, "Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off," is a well known instance of a proverbial saying (1 Kings 20:11).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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14
17
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