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

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 Alan Menken's score from Disney's 1992 animated classic has been larded up with new songs, most not especially memorable, proving the adage that less is more. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "It's a bumpy ride back to the boy-crazy '60s for the 6-woman cast of Great Lakes Theater's 'Beehive' (review)," 10 May 2018 But in the case of the Buckley brothers, the adage went under slight modification. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New owners carry on delicious tradition at Michael's House of Prime in Pewaukee," 22 Jan. 2018 That business-world adage has allowed Facebook to thrive, attracting 2 billion users who choose to trade their personal information for no-cost access to the world's largest social network. David Pierson, latimes.com, "Would you pay for an ad-free Facebook?," 13 Apr. 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

13 Sep 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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