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A proverb (from the Latin proverbium), also called a byword or nayword, 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 short, but memorable sayings, based on an important fact of experience that is considered true by many people. Famous old proverbs have gained some credibility through their long use. Some old famous proverbs are based on the words of old folk wisdom ( Words of Wisdom or Adages ). Proverbs which describe a rule of conduct are also known as known as "maxims". Some famous proverbs may have become a cliché or truism through over use. Improve your understanding of famous proverbs and sayings with our dictionary of famous proverbs and sayings definitions.

A poor workman blames his tools
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  
A cat may look at a king.  
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link  
Actions speak louder than words.  
Advice when most needed is least heeded.  
A fool and his money are soon parted.  
A friend in need is a friend indeed.  
After a storm comes a calm.  
After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.  
A good beginning makes a good ending.  
A good man in an evil society seems the greatest villain of all.  
A good surgeon has an eagle's eye, a lion's heart, and a lady's hand.  
A guilty conscience needs no accuser.  
A jack of all trades is master of none.  
A little Learning is a dangerous thing
A merry heart makes a long life.  
A miss is as good as a mile.  
A penny saved is a penny earned.  
A person is known by the company he keeps.  
A picture is worth a thousand words.  
A rolling stone gathers no moss.  
A sound mind in a sound body.  
A stitch in time saves nine.  
All frills and no knickers.  
All good things come to an end.  
All roads lead to Rome.  
All's fair in love and war.  
All's well that ends well.  
All that glisters is not gold.  
All good things come to he who waits.  
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  
April showers bring May flowers.  
Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.  
As you sow, so shall you reap.  
A watched kettle never boils.  
A woman's work is never done.

Barking dogs seldom bite.  
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.  
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  
Beauty is only skin deep.  
Beggars can't be choosers.  
Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  
Better late than never.  
Better safe than sorry.  
Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.  
Birds of a feather flock together.  
Bitter pills may have blessed effects.  
Blood is thicker than water.  
Blood will out.  
Boys will be boys.
Brain is better than brawn.  
Bread is the staff of life.  
Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper.

Cast not your pearls before swine.
Chance favors the prepared mind.  
Cider on beer, never fear; beer upon cider, makes a bad rider.  
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.  
Clothes maketh the man.  
Common sense ain't common.  
Cowards die many times, but a brave man only dies once.  
Cross the stream where it is the shallowest.  
Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought it back
Cut your coat according to your cloth.

Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.  
Desperate times call for desperate measures.  
Different sores must have different salves.  
Different strokes for different folks.  
Diseases come on horseback, but steal away on foot.  
Do as you would be done by.  
Do unto others as you would have done to you.  
Doctors make the worst patients.  
Don't burn your bridges before they're crossed.  
Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.  
Don't cross a bridge until you come to it.  
Don't cry over spilt milk.  
Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.  
Don't have too many irons in the fire.  
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.  
Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.  
Don't mend what isn't broken.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.  
Don't put the cart before the horse.  
Don't shut the barn door after the horse is gone.  
Don't shut the gate after the horse has bolted.  
Don't spit into the wind.  
Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.  
Don't trudge mud into the house of love.  
Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.  
Do or die.  
Do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain.
 Early bird gets the worm.  
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  
Eat to live, don't live to eat.  
Eat when you're hungry, and drink when you're dry.  
East or West, home is best.  
Empty barrels make the most sound.  
Empty vessels make the most noise.  
Even a worm will turn.  
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.  
Every cloud has a silver lining.  
Every day is a new beginning.  
Every disease will have its course.  
Every dog has its day.  
Every man has a price.  
Every rule has its exception.  
Everything comes to those who wait.  
Every path has its puddle. 
 Faith will move mountains.  
Faint heart ne'er won fair lady.  
Familiarity breeds contempt.  
Fine feathers make fine birds.  
Fine words butter no parsnips.  
First come, first served.  
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.  
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.  
Forbidden fruit is the sweetest.  
Forewarned is forearmed.  
Fresh pork and new wine kill a man before his time.  
Fretting cares make grey hairs.  
Friend to all is a friend to none.  
Friend in need is a friend indeed.
Faith will move mountains.  
Faint heart ne'er won fair lady.  
Familiarity breeds contempt.  
Fine feathers make fine birds.  
Fine words butter no parsnips.  
First come, first served.  
First deserve then desire.  
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.  
Fools gawp at masterpieces- wise men set out to outdo masterpieces.  
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.  
Forbidden fruit is the sweetest.
Forewarned is forearmed.  
Fresh pork and new wine kill a man before his time.  
Fretting cares make grey hairs.  
Friend to all is a friend to none.  
Friend in need is a friend indeed.

Give and take is fair play.  
Give a dog a bad name.  
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Give the Devil his due.  
God blesses a drunk.  
God cures and the physician takes the fee.
Good eating deserves good drinking.  
Good fences make good neighbours.  
Good men are scarce.  
Good wine needs no bush.  
Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ.  
Great oaks from little acorns grow.
Green leaves and brown leaves fall from the same tree. 

Hair of the dog that bit you.  
Half a loaf is better than none.  
Handsome is as handsome does.  
Happy wife, happy life.  
Hard words break no bones.  
Haste makes waste.  
Hawks will not pick out hawks' eyes.  
Health is better than wealth.  
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  
Help a lame dog over a stile.  
He that lives too fast, goes to his grave too soon.  
He who hesitates is lost.  
He who laughs last laughs longest.  
He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.  
He who pays the piper calls the tune.  
His bark is worse than his bite.  
History repeats itself.  
Home is where the heart is.  
Home is where you hang your hat.  
Honesty is the best policy.  
Honey catches more flies than vinegar.  
Hope for the best, expect the worst.  
Hunger makes good kitchen. 
 If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  
If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.  
If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?  
If the cap fits, wear it.  
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.  
If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.  
If you can't beat them, join them.  
If you can't be good, be careful.  
If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.  
If you keep your mouth shut, you won't put your foot in it.  
If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.  
If you're in a hole, stop digging.  
Ignorance is bliss.  
In for a penny, in for a pound.  
It never rains, but it pours.  
It's an ill wind that blows no good.  
It's better to give than to receive.  
It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  
It's easy to be wise after the event.  
It's never too late to mend.  
It's not over till it's over.  
It's no use crying over spilt milk.  
It's often a person's mouth that broke their nose.  
It's the early bird that gets the worm.  
It's the squeaky gate that gets the grease.  
It takes all sorts to make a world.  
It takes two to make a quarrel.  
It takes two to tango.  
It takes two to lie, one to lie and one to listen. 
 Jack of all trades, master of none.   
Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.   
Judge not, lest ye be judged. 

Keep a thing seven years and you will always find a use for it.  
Keep no more cats than catch mice.  
Kill not the goose that laid the golden egg.  
Kill two birds with one stone.  
Knock and the door will be opened unto you.
Knowledge is power.

Laughter is the best medicine.  
Learn to walk before you run.  
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
Let sleeping dogs lie.  
Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.  
Like father like son.  
Like water off a duck's back.  
Little by little and bit by bit.  
Little enemies and little wounds must not be despised.  
Long absent, soon forgotten.  
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.  
Look before you leap.  
Love is blind.  
Life begins at forty.  
Live and let die.
Life's a bitch and then you die

Make hay while the sun shines.
Make love not war.  
Make love like war.  
Making a rod for your own back.  
Many hands make light work.  
Misery loves company.  
Money for old rope.  
Money makes the world go around.  
Money talks.  
More haste, less speed. 

Necessity is the mother of all invention.
Ne'er cast a clout till May be out.  
Never judge the book by it's cover.  
Never put off till until tomorrow what you can do today.  
New broom sweeps clean.  
Noblesse oblige.  
No gain without pain.  
No man can serve two masters.  
No man is content with his lot.  
No man is an island  
No news is good news.  
No pain, no gain.  
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  
Nothing succeeds like success.

Old is gold.  
Once bitten, twice shy.  
One doctor makes work for another.  
One good turn deserves another.  
One man's meat is another's poison.  
Out of sight, out of mind. 

Paddle your own boat.  
Patience is a virtue.  
Penny wise, pound foolish.  
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.  
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.  
Practice makes perfect. 

Rats desert a sinking ship.  
Red sky at night: shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning: shepherd's warning.  
Rolling stone gathers no moss.  
Rome wasn't built in a day.  
Rules are made to be broken. 

Seek and ye shall find.  
Sex is like war, both are exciting but neither informative.  
Smile, and the world smiles with you. Cry, and you cry alone.  
Starve a fever, feed a cold.  
Still waters are the deepest.  
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.  
Still waters run deep.  
Strike while the iron is hot.  
Seize the moment.
 Talk is cheap.  
Talk of the devil - and the devil appears.  
The best things in life are free.  
The early bird gets the worm.  
The end justifies the means.  
The first step to health is to know that we are sick.  
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  
The squeaky gate gets the grease.  
There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.  
The calm before a storm.
There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.  
There's more than one way to skin a cat.  
There's no accounting for taste.  
There's no place like home.  
There's no time like the present.  
Think before you speak.  
Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.  
Time flies when you're having a good time.  
Time is money.  
To each his own.  
To err is human; to forgive is divine.  
To kill two birds with one stone.  
Tomorrow is another day.  
Too many chiefs and not enough indians.  
Too many cooks spoil the broth.  
Trouble shared is trouble halved.  
Truth is stranger than fiction.  
Two's company, three's a crowd.  
Two heads are better than one.
Two wrongs don't make a right. 

Up the creek without a paddle.

Variety is the spice of life.

Waste not, want not.  
We all make mistakes.  
What goes around comes around.  
What goes up must come down.  
What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.  
When in Rome do as the Romans do.  
When the cat's away, the mice will play.  
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  
Where one door shuts, another opens.  
Where there's a will there's a way.  
While the cat is away, the mice will play.  
While there's life, there's hope.  
Why have a dog and bark yourself?  
Winners never cheat and cheaters never win.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

You can't have it both ways.

You can't judge a book by its cover.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

You can't teach grandma to suck eggs.

You can't tell a book by its cover.

You have to crawl before you can walk.

You never know what you've got till it's gone.

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. 

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