1

proverb

play
noun prov·erb \ˈprä-ˌvərb\

Definition of proverb

  1. 1 :  a brief popular epigram or maxim :  adage

  2. 2 :  byword 4

Examples of proverb in a sentence

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

Did You Know?

Proverbs probably appeared with the dawn of language. Sayings such as "A stitch in time saves nine", or "Pride goeth before a fall", or "Least said, soonest mended", or "To everything there is a season" are easily memorized nuggets of wisdom. But the convenient thing about proverbs is that there's often one for every point of view. For every "Look before you leap" there's a "He who hesitates is lost". "A fool and his money are soon parted" can be countered with "To make money you have to spend money". A cynic once observed, "Proverbs are invaluable treasures to dunces with good memories".

Origin and Etymology of proverb

Middle English proverbe, from Anglo-French, from Latin proverbium, from pro- + verbum word — more at word


First Known Use: 14th century


2

proverb

verb prov·erb

Definition of proverb

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to speak of proverbially

  3. 2 obsolete :  to provide with a proverb

14th Century

First Known Use of proverb

14th century


PROVERB Defined for English Language Learners

1

proverb

play
noun prov·erb \ˈprä-ˌvərb\

Definition of proverb for English Language Learners

  • : 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


PROVERB Defined for Kids

proverb

play
noun prov·erb \ˈprä-ˌvərb\

Definition of proverb for Students

  1. :  a short well-known saying containing a wise thought :  maxim, adage <“Haste makes waste” is a proverb.>

Word Root of proverb

The Latin word verbum, meaning “word,” gives us the root verb. Words from the Latin verbum have something to do with words. A verb is a word that shows action. An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. A proverb, or short saying containing a wise thought, is made up of a few well-chosen words. Anything verbal is made up of spoken words.



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