something said, especially a proverb or apothegm.
go without saying, to be completely self-evident; be understood: It goes without saying that you are welcome to visit us at any time.

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

1. maxim, adage, saw, aphorism. Unabridged


1 [sey]
verb (used with object), said, saying.
to utter or pronounce; speak: What did you say? I said “Hello!”
to express in words; state; declare; word: Say it clearly and simply. It's hard to know how to say this tactfully.
to state as an opinion or judgment: I say her plan is the better one.
to be certain, precise, or assured about; determine: It is hard to say what is wrong.
to recite or repeat: to say one's prayers.
to report or allege; maintain: People say he will resign.
to express (a message, viewpoint, etc.), as through a literary or other artistic medium: a writer with something to say.
to indicate or show: What does your watch say?
to assume as a hypothesis or estimate: Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's true.
verb (used without object), said, saying.
to speak; declare; express an opinion.
approximately; about: It's, say, 14 feet long.
for example: If you serve, say tuna fish and potato chips, it will cost much less.
what a person says or has to say.
the right or opportunity to speak, decide, or exercise influence: to have one's say in choosing the candidate.
a turn to say something: It is now my say.
(used to express surprise, get attention, etc.)
that is to say. that ( def 16 ).

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

sayer, noun


2 [sey]
verb (used with object), noun British Dialect.

1350–1400; Middle English sayen, aphetic variant of assayen to assay Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To saying
World English Dictionary
say1 (seɪ)
vb , says, saying, said
1.  to speak, pronounce, or utter
2.  (also intr) to express (an idea) in words; tell: we asked his opinion but he refused to say
3.  (also intr; may take a clause as object) to state (an opinion, fact, etc) positively; declare; affirm
4.  to recite: to say grace
5.  (may take a clause as object) to report or allege: they say we shall have rain today
6.  (may take a clause as object) to take as an assumption; suppose: let us say that he is lying
7.  (may take a clause as object) to convey by means of artistic expression: the artist in this painting is saying that we should look for hope
8.  to make a case for: there is much to be said for either course of action
9.  (Irish) (usually passive) to persuade or coax (someone) to do something: If I hadn't been said by her, I wouldn't be in this fix
10.  go without saying to be so obvious as to need no explanation
11.  informal chiefly (Brit) I say! an exclamation of surprise
12.  not to say even; and indeed
13.  that is to say in other words; more explicitly
14.  to say nothing of as well as; even disregarding: he was warmly dressed in a shirt and heavy jumper, to say nothing of a thick overcoat
15.  to say the least without the slightest exaggeration; at the very least
16.  approximately: there were, say, 20 people present
17.  for example: choose a number, say, four
18.  the right or chance to speak: let him have his say
19.  authority, esp to influence a decision: he has a lot of say in the company's policy
20.  a statement of opinion: you've had your say, now let me have mine
21.  informal (US), (Canadian) an exclamation to attract attention or express surprise, etc
[Old English secgan; related to Old Norse segja, Old Saxon seggian, Old High German sagēn]

say2 (seɪ)
archaic a type of fine woollen fabric
[C13: from Old French saie, from Latin saga, plural of sagum a type of woollen cloak]

saying (ˈseɪɪŋ)
a maxim, adage, or proverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. secgan "to utter, say," from P.Gmc. *sagjanan (cf. O.S. seggian, O.N. segja, O.Fris. sedsa, M.Du. segghen, Du. zeggen, O.H.G. sagen, Ger. sagen "to say"), from PIE *sokei-, probably from base *seq- "point out" (cf. Hitt. shakiya- "to declare," Lith. sakyti "to say," O.C.S. sociti "to vindicate,
show," O.Ir. insce "speech," O.Latin inseque "to tell say"). Past tense said developed from O.E. segde. Not attested in use with inanimate objects (clocks, signs, etc.) as subjects before 1930. You said it "you're right" first recorded 1919; you can say that again as a phrase expressing agreement is recorded from 1942, Amer.Eng. You don't say (so) as an expression of astonishment (often ironic) is first recorded 1779, Amer.Eng.

"what someone says," 1570s, from say (v.). Extended form say-so is first recorded 1630s.

"utterance, recitation, act of the verb 'say,' " c.1300, prp. of say (v.); meaning "something that has been said" (usually by someone thought important) is from c.1300; sense of "a proverb" is first attested mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It seemed to her that the world was full of meaningless people saying words.
But saying you need to take a view is not the same as taking one.
Some traditional newspaper firms dismiss free papers, saying they are not
The confusion is whether the index is saying more about the supply of ships
  than the demand for their cargoes.
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