A proverb is a short, memorable saying that embodies a universal truth based on common sense or practical wisdom. Proverbs are often well-known, commonplace sayings that have become part of our general language. They are a creative, pithy way to provide moral instruction or gentle correction.
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Lay down with dogs and you will get up with fleas.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Examples of Proverbs in Literature:
Perhaps the most famous set of proverbs is from the book of the Bible called "Proverbs". The book is attributed to Solomon, who was a wise King of the Jews. These are a few of the most popular proverbs from the book:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but a fool despises wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
William Shakespeare's works are also full of proverbs that have become part of our everyday language. Here are a few of his more famous lines that can be classified as proverbs:
The course of true love never did run smooth. (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Tis the mind that makes the body rich. (The Taming of the Shrew)
Have more than you show. Speak less than you know. (King Lear)
It is a wise father who knows his own child. (Merchant of Venice)
Better three hours too soon than one minute too late. (The Merry Wives of Windsor)
To thine own self be true. (Hamlet)
Literary Terms Examples