Proverb

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Flemish proverb.jpg

Origin

Middle English proverbe, from Anglo-French, from Latin proverbium, from pro- + verbum word — more at word

Definitions

  • 1: a brief popular epigram or maxim : adage
  • 2: byword

Description

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.[1]