Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A saying that sets forth a general truth and that has gained credit through long use. See Synonyms at saying. See Usage Note at redundancy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An old saying, which has obtained credit by long use.
  • n. An old saying, which has been overused or considered a cliché; a trite maxim.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old saying, which has obtained credit by long use; a proverb.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pithy saying in current use; a brief familiar proverb; an expression of popular wisdom, generally figurative, in a single phrase or sentence, and of remote origin.
  • n. Synonyms Aphorism, Axiom, Maxim, etc. See aphorism.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Latin adagium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French adage, from Latin adagium. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • There should be an adage, proud as a vampire. -Charlaine Harris, Living Dead in Dallas

    December 11, 2010

  • "Appreciating the adage, that "money is power," he married Herdisa, the daughter of a priest called Bersi the Rich--a very enviable surname, which, no doubt, enabled the reverend gentleman to brave the bulls and decrees of popes and councils, and take to himself a wife--who brought him a very considerable fortune."
    - Norðurfari; or, Rambles in Iceland

    May 20, 2009