Proverb Definitions

Proverb \Prov"erb\, n. [OE. proverbe, F. proverbe, from L. proverbium; pro before, for + verbum a word. See Verb.]

1. An old and common saying; a phrase which is often repeated; especially, a sentence which briefly and forcibly expresses some practical truth, or the result of experience and observation; a maxim; a saw; an adage.

2. A striking or paradoxical assertion; an obscure saying; an enigma; a parable.

3. A familiar illustration; a subject of contemptuous reference.

4. A drama exemplifying a proverb.

Proverb \Prov"erb\, v. t.

1. To name in, or as, a proverb. [R.]

2. To provide with a proverb. [R.]

Proverb \Prov"erb\, v. i.

To write or utter proverbs. [R.]

proverb thesaurus

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Examples include proverb

  • "Red sky at night, shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning" is another often-quoted proverb. The rhyme originated to help shepherds predict the following day's weather - and this one is often more reliable. telegraph.co.uk

  • Because what if, to turn an old proverb on its head, for the want of a bin a school was lost? For the want of a school an education was lost? For the want of an education a generation was lost? And all for the want of a bin. telegraph.co.uk

  • Don’t let the bathing etiquette, or nudity, put you off an enjoyable outdoorsy experience. As a Japanese proverb sagely puts it, life is short: take time to enjoy the shade of a tree and the flowing of a stream. telegraph.co.uk

  • Nigel Jarrett, head of conservation breeding at the WWT, said: "It takes a village to raise a child, so the old African proverb goes, but in this case it has taken a village to raise a duck. We have been preparing for this moment for over a decade. telegraph.co.uk

  • The writer Tahir Shah is fond of quoting a proverb that goes “much travel is needed before a raw man is ripened.” I was far from ripe at the end of that trip, but I was transformed from the very timid and naive boy I’d been at the beginning. telegraph.co.uk

  • “Chess is a sea in which an elephant may bathe, and a gnat may drink”', goes a proverb from India, the birthplace of Chaturanga, the first board game that resembled chess and was played around 1500 years ago.  telegraph.co.uk