a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation; proverb.

1540–50; < French < Latin adagium, equivalent to ad- ad- + ag- (stem of āio I say) + -ium -ium

adagial [uh-dey-jee-uhl] , adjective

adage, aphorism, apothegm, axiom, maxim, proverb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
adage (ˈædɪdʒ)
a traditional saying that is accepted by many as true or partially true; proverb
[C16: via Old French from Latin adagium; related to āio I say]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1540s, from L. adagium "adage, proverb," apparently from adagio, from ad- "to" + *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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Encyclopedia Britannica


a saying, often in metaphoric form, that embodies a common observation, such as "If the shoe fits, wear it,'' "Out of the frying pan, into the fire,'' or "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.'' The scholar Erasmus published a well-known collection of adages as Adagia in 1508. The word is from the Latin adagium, "proverb."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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