Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



proverbial +‎ -ity


proverbiality (uncountable)

  1. The state or characteristic of being proverbial.
    • 1874, "English vers de société," The Living Age, vol. 122, no. 1580, p. 718:
      For such a quatrain and couplet as the following it is scarcely hazardous to predict proverbiality:—
      They eat and drink and scheme and plod
      And go to church on Sunday;
      And many are afraid of God
      And more of Mrs. Grundy.
      . . .
      The Cockney met in Middlesex or Surrey
      Is often cold and always in a hurry.
    • 1968, Shirley L. Arora, "Spanish Proverbial Exaggerations from California," Western Folklore, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 232:
      The degree of proverbiality, or currency in oral tradition, attained by these exaggerations is difficult to assess.
    • 2005, Rose Marie Beck, "Texts on Textiles: Proverbiality as Characteristic of Equivocal Communication at the East African Coast (Swahili)," Journal of African Cultural Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, p. 156:
      Because other aspects are also seen as contributing to proverbiality—equivocation, authoritativeness, and negotiation of power relations—a text may be proverbial to various degrees.


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.