ETYM Old Eng. proverbe, French proverbe, from Latin proverbium; pro before, for + verbum a word. Related to Verb.
A condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people; SYN. adage, saw, byword.
Piece of received, traditional wisdom expressed in a pithy, often metaphorical manner (“a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”; “a stitch in time saves nine”).