noun \ˈprä-ˌvərb\

: a brief popular saying (such as “Too many cooks spoil the broth”) that gives advice about how people should live or that expresses a belief that is generally thought to be true

Full Definition of PROVERB

:  a brief popular epigram or maxim :  adage
:  byword 4

Examples of PROVERB

  1. <her grandfather has a proverb for every occasion>

Origin of PROVERB

Middle English proverbe, from Anglo-French, from Latin proverbium, from pro- + verbum word — more at word
First Known Use: 14th century


transitive verb

Definition of PROVERB

:  to speak of proverbially
obsolete :  to provide with a proverb

First Known Use of PROVERB

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Succinct and pithy saying that is in general use and expresses commonly held ideas and beliefs. Proverbs are part of every spoken language and folk literature, originating in oral tradition. Often a proverb is found with variations in many different parts of the world. Literate societies dating to the ancient Egyptians have collected proverbs. One of the earliest English proverb collections, The Proverbs of Alfred, dates from c. 1150–80. In North America the best-known collection is probably Poor Richard's, an almanac published 1732–57 by Benjamin Franklin.


Next Word in the Dictionary: pro–verb
Previous Word in the Dictionary: prove out
All Words Near: proverb

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