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.
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.
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.
Prov·erb, v. i. To write or utter proverbs. [R.]
n : a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important
fact of experience that is taken as true by many people
[syn: adage, saw, byword]
a trite maxim; a similitude; a parable. The Hebrew word thus
rendered (mashal) has a wide signification. It comes from a root
meaning "to be like," "parable." Rendered "proverb" in Isa.
14:4; Hab. 2:6; "dark saying" in Ps. 49:4, Num. 12:8. Ahab's
defiant words in answer to the insolent demands of Benhadad,
"Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he
that putteth it off," is a well known instance of a proverbial
saying (1 Kings 20:11).