proverbial

adjective pro·ver·bi·al \ prə-ˈvər-bē-əl \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of proverbial

1 :of, relating to, or resembling a proverb
2 :that has become a proverb or byword :commonly spoken of
  • the proverbial smoking gun

proverbially

play \prə-ˈvər-bē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of proverbial in a Sentence

  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 TillmanMotion Sickness1991
  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. LaphamHarper'sNovember 1990

Recent Examples of proverbial from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of proverbial


PROVERBIAL Defined for English Language Learners

proverbial

adjective

Definition of proverbial for English Language Learners

  • : of, relating to, or resembling a proverb

  • : commonly spoken of : widely known


PROVERBIAL Defined for Kids

proverbial

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

Definition of proverbial for Students

1 :of a proverb
  • a proverbial expression
2 :commonly spoken of
  • You have the proverbial beginner's luck.

proverbially

adverb


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