Proverb

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Proverb'

Proverb Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    proverb n : a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people [syn: adage, saw, byword]
Proverb Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    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. --Chaucer. Bacon.
  2. A striking or paradoxical assertion; an obscure saying; an enigma; a parable. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. --John xvi. 29.
  3. A familiar illustration; a subject of contemptuous reference. Thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by word, among all nations. --Deut. xxviii. 37.
  4. A drama exemplifying a proverb. Book of Proverbs, a canonical book of the Old Testament, containing a great variety of wise maxims. Syn: Maxim; aphorism; apothegm; adage; saw.
Proverb Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Proverb \Prov"erb\, v. t.
  1. To name in, or as, a proverb. [R.] Am I not sung and proverbed for a fool ? --Milton.
  2. To provide with a proverb. [R.] I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase. --Shak.
Proverb Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Proverb \Prov"erb\, v. i. To write or utter proverbs. [R.]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Proverb'


A proverb (from Latin: proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. If a proverb is distinguished by particularly good phrasing, it may be known as an aphorism.

Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language. Both the Bible (Book of Proverbs) and medieval Latin have played a considerable role in distributing proverbs across Europe, although almost every culture has examples of its own.

The study of proverbs is called: paremiology (from Greek παροιμία - paroimía, "proverb") and can be dated back as far as Aristotle. Paremiography, on the other hand, is the collection of proverbs. A prominent proverb scholar in the United States is Wolfgang Mieder. He has written or edited over 50 books on the subject, edits the journal Proverbium (journal), has written innumerable articles on proverbs, and is very widely cited by other proverb scholars. Mieder defines the term proverb as follows:

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'Proverb' in famous quotation sentence


* A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. - Miguel de Cervantes

* For not many men, the proverb saith, can love a friend whom fortune prospereth unenvying. - Aeschylus

* A proverb is the wisdom of many and the wit of one. - Lord John Russell


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