• (British) IPA: /ˈpɹɒvɜːb/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈpɹɑːvɝːb/

proverb (plural proverbs)

  1. A phrase expressing a basic truth which may be applied to common situations.
  2. A striking or paradoxical assertion; an obscure saying; an enigma; a parable.
    • Bible, John xvi. 29
      His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
  3. A familiar illustration; a subject of contemptuous reference.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xxviii. 37
      Thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by word, among all nations.
  4. A drama exemplifying a proverb.
Synonyms Translations Verb

proverb (proverbs, present participle proverbing; past and past participle proverbed)

  1. To write or utter proverbs.
  2. To name in, or as, a proverb.
    • 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes, lines 203-205:
      Am I not sung and proverbed for a fool / In every street, do they not say, "How well / Are come upon him his deserts?"
  3. To provide with a proverb.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iv]:
      I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase.

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