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13 Essential Literary Terms

proverbial

[pruh-vur-bee-uh l] /prəˈvɜr bi əl/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a proverb:
proverbial brevity.
2.
expressed in a proverb or proverbs:
proverbial wisdom.
3.
of the nature of or resembling a proverb:
proverbial sayings.
4.
having been made the subject of a proverb:
the proverbial barn door which is closed too late.
5.
having become an object of common mention or reference:
your proverbial inability to get anywhere on time.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin prōverbiālis. See proverb, -al1
Related forms
proverbially, adverb
unproverbial, adjective
unproverbially, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for proverbially
  • Emotion, indeed, is proverbially inclined to speechlessness.
  • proverbially, the chameleon changes its color to suit every mood or situation.
  • The identification of strangers is proverbially untrustworthy.
  • In environmental terms, these people lived in proverbially interesting times.
  • It is proverbially foolish to throw good money after bad.
British Dictionary definitions for proverbially

proverbial

/prəˈvɜːbɪəl/
adjective
1.
(prenominal) commonly or traditionally referred to, esp as being an example of some peculiarity, characteristic, etc
2.
of, connected with, embodied in, or resembling a proverb
Derived Forms
proverbially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for proverbially

proverbial

adj.

early 15c. (implied in proverbially.), from Late Latin proverbialis "pertaining to a proverb," from proverbium (see proverb).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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