Adage



a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation; proverb.
Contemporary Examples

Man bites dog: an adage used to illustrate that the media only reports the extraordinary.
The World’s Most Dangerous Dogs The Daily Beast November 2, 2010

But as the adage goes, joyful is the man with nothing left to lose.
The Next GOP Cattle Call June 12, 2011

And the word “revenge” in this adage is understood to be other-than-literal.
“Revenge” Michael Tomasky November 5, 2012

Reversing Von Clausewitz’s adage, policy becomes an extension of war.
Guns, Generals and Votes Gershom Gorenberg November 15, 2012

After all, the old Indian adage is that love comes after marriage.
The Carrie Bradshaws of Mumbai Keshni Kashyap February 24, 2009

Historical Examples

He was perfectly contented to bide his time, remembering that adage: “All things come to him who waits.”
Dorothy at Skyrie Evelyn Raymond

“‘It never rains but it pours,’ says the Irish adage,” resumed she.
Barrington Charles James Lever

He was one of the fools who devote their lives to disproving the adage that experience teaches them.
Cynthia Leonard Merrick

It was a first love of mine, and, as the adage says, ‘only revient toujours.’
The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever

This perfectly agrees with the above passage from Bonduca, and is doubtless the original sense and original form of the adage.
Notes and Queries, Number 211, November 12, 1853 Various

noun
a traditional saying that is accepted by many as true or partially true; proverb
n.

1540s, Middle French adage, from Latin adagium “adage, proverb,” apparently from adagio, from ad- “to” (see ad-) + *agi-, root of aio “I say,” from PIE *ag- “to speak.” But Tucker thinks the second element is rather ago “set in motion, drive, urge.”

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  • Adagial

    a traditional saying expressing a common experience or observation; proverb. noun a traditional saying that is accepted by many as true or partially true; proverb n. 1540s, Middle French adage, from Latin adagium “adage, proverb,” apparently from adagio, from ad- “to” (see ad-) + *agi-, root of aio “I say,” from PIE *ag- “to speak.” […]



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