What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[ad-ij] /ˈæd ɪdʒ/
a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation; proverb.
Origin of adage
1540-50; < French < Latin adagium, equivalent to ad- ad- + ag- (stem of āio I say) + -ium -ium
Related forms
[uh-dey-jee-uh l] /əˈdeɪ dʒi əl/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for adage
  • So you don't believe in the adage, "write what you know"? It's very good advice if what you know is interesting.
  • The adage that one man's trash is another's treasure still holds true for many music lovers.
  • At this point, the old “just add water” adage rang true.
  • It at least proves the adage that money cannot buy good taste.
  • There's really truth to the old adage that one bad apple spoils the bunch.
  • It's a modern solution to the adage that urges you to recognize that charity starts at home.
  • Note to our leadders: Recall the adage, haste makes waste -- that applies in both economic and democratic contexts.
  • It may be true, as the old adage has it, that success has a hundred fathers and failure is an orphan.
  • Miamians are strong believers in the adage that all work and no play makes for a dull city, and Miami is anything but dull.
  • Unfortunately, not everyone lives by the adage that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
British Dictionary definitions for adage


a traditional saying that is accepted by many as true or partially true; proverb
Word Origin
C16: via Old French from Latin adagium; related to āio I say
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 adage

1540s, Middle French adage, from Latin adagium "adage, proverb," apparently from adagio, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + *agi-, root of aio "I say," from PIE *ag- "to speak." But Tucker thinks the second element is rather ago "set in motion, drive, urge."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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