proverbial

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

proverbial (comparative more proverbial, superlative most proverbial)

  1. Of, resembling, or expressed as a proverb, cliché, fable, or fairy tale.
  2. Not used in a literal sense, but as the subject of a well-known metaphor.
    the proverbial smoking gun
    proverbial spilled milk
  3. Widely known; famous; stereotypical.
    I grew up in a prefab house on Main Street in 1950s suburbia, the second and last child of a proverbial nuclear family.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

proverbial (plural proverbials)

  1. (euphemistic) Used to replace a word that might be considered unacceptable in a particular situation, when using a well-known phrase.
    I think we should be prepared in case the proverbial hits the fan.
    Are you taking the proverbial?
  2. (euphemistic) The groin or the testicles.
    You'll find they've got you by the proverbials.

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

proverbial (feminine singular proverbiale, masculine plural proverbiaux, feminine plural proverbiales)

  1. proverbial

Spanish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

proverbial (plural proverbiales)

  1. proverbial