adage

noun
ad·​age | \ˈa-dij \

Definition of adage 

: a saying often in metaphorical form that typically embodies a common observation She reminded him of the adage: "A penny saved is a penny earned."

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Examples of adage in a Sentence

that old adage, “the early bird gets the worm”

Recent Examples on the Web

Yeah, the argument was the old Watergate adage, follow the money. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Jessica Pressler talks ‘lady grifters’ + Ken Auletta on the ‘frenemies’ of the ad business on Recode Media," 24 June 2018 Instead, remember the old adage: everything in moderation. Andrea Thelen, Ms, Detroit Free Press, "6 tips for healthy and safe grilling," 9 July 2018 To paraphrase a popular adage: Wind Gap is the special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. Jessica M. Goldstein, Marie Claire, "Gillian Flynn, Killer Queen," 8 July 2018 This adage comes from Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, poet, theologian and the founder of existentialism. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 As the adage goes, though, there's no such thing as perfect security. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Encrypted Messaging Isn’t Magic," 14 June 2018 The adage quality over quantity best describes an introvert and their relationships. K. Lori Hanson, Ph.d., miamiherald, "10 good reasons to celebrate your 'too sensitive' child | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 There's an old adage that says: politics is the art of the possible. Adam Gorgoni, Billboard, "Come Together: Why Songwriters Should Support the Music Modernization Act (Guest Column)," 2 Apr. 2018 There’s an adage in social justice advocacy, a reminder that victims shouldn’t have to exhibit their trauma to gain respect and understanding. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "America’s “Poster Child” Syndrome," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adage

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adage

borrowed from Middle French, borrowed from Latin adagiō, adagium, from ad- ad- + ag-, base of aiō, āiō "(I) say" (going back to *ag-i̯ō, going back to an Indo-European verb stem *h2eǵ-i̯e- "say") + -ium, deverbal noun suffix; akin to Greek ê "(s/he) spoke," án-ōga "(I) command," Armenian asem "(I) say," Tocharian B āks- "announce, proclaim"

Note: The Latin form is possibly adāgiō; the lack of vowel reduction in the second syllable is otherwise unexplained. Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin (Brill, 2008), believes that the base is not aiō, but rather adigō, "I drive/thrust/plunge into, force, impel." Semantically, this is not compelling, and does not in any case solve the problem of the second syllable. On the other hand, the lack of attestation for aiō with any prefixes aside from this noun is striking.

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Dictionary Entries near adage

ad absurdum

adad

adag

adage

ad agency

adagietto

adagio

Statistics for adage

Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adage

The first known use of adage was in 1530

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More Definitions for adage

adage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of adage

: an old and well-known saying that expresses a general truth

adage

noun
ad·​age | \ˈa-dij \

Kids Definition of adage

: an old familiar saying : proverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on adage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adage

Spanish Central: Translation of adage

Nglish: Translation of adage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about adage

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