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proverbial

play
adjective pro·ver·bi·al \prə-ˈvər-bē-əl\

Simple Definition of proverbial

  • : of, relating to, or resembling a proverb

  • : commonly spoken of : widely known

Full Definition of proverbial

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or resembling a proverb

  2. 2 :  that has become a proverb or byword :  commonly spoken of <the proverbial smoking gun>

pro·ver·bi·al·ly play \-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of proverbial

  1. Insanity roamed through her large midwestern tribe, cloistered in proverbial dark closets in gabled houses in areas of the country where no one else lived for miles and miles … —Lynne Tillman, Motion Sickness, 1991

  2. I keep running across people who speak fondly about what they imagine to be the comforts of autocracy, who long for the assurances of the proverbial man on the white horse likely to do something hard and puritanical about the moral relativism that has made a mess of the cities, the schools, and prime-time television. —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, November 1990



Origin of proverbial

(see 1proverb)


First Known Use: 1548



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