Difference Between Adage and Proverb


Main Difference

The main difference between Adage and Proverb is that Adage is a small description showing common reality, whereas Proverb is a short classical maxim describing a piece of advice.

Adage vs. Proverb

Adage occurs again and again from generation to generation, while proverb is a maxim. In ancient days adage was very common and famous, but now a day’s proverb is mostly used. An adage is typically a brief, impressive, and generally theoretical saying, which corresponds with the main reality. Typically the proverbs are symbolic and incidental to permit authors, to shows their mails in easy manners.

An adage is a maxim that commonly references people to remember a little about others. An adage is a small axiom, but equal to a maxim. The proverb is the mind of one, and witness of several. Proverb is a phrase which reproduces general logic and is ugly.


Comparison Chart

The adage is a universal truth.The proverb is a small judgment for the idea and gives advice.
Less commonMore common

What is Adage?

The word adage is derived from the Latin word ‘adagium.’ Commonly Adages are motivating remarks, decent regulations, and unconvinced explanations on life. A few adages are products of folk perception to try to review a vital fact. The old writers used adage in their assortment.

The writers can produce adages in admired mechanisms of the novel. In several conditions, adages occur in ancient skills to realize sincerity, in the observation of people and the reason for their employ. E.g. they give a healthy message with a short slogan. These maxims are natural facts.


Adages due to their reputation highly used in literary work, broadcasting, pictures, and advertisements. They are also used in marketing and movie’s writings. Another important role of the adage is ‘to aware the readers about the realities of life.’ Adage and proverb have several connections, but they are not similar.


  • A picture’s worth is a thousand words.
  • No risk, no gain.
  • Good things come in small packages.
  • Where there is smoke, there is fire. Better safe than sorry.
  • Curiosity killed the cat.
  • Appearances often are deceiving.
  • Pride hath a fall.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Where there is a will, there is a way.
  • Do good have good.
  • A stitch in time saves nine.
  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Greed is a curse.
  • Grapes are sour.

What is Proverb?

The word ‘proverb’ is derived from the Latin word ‘proverbium.’ A proverb is a small ruling of familiar suggestions, wise ideas, and racial experience. Proverbs are more interesting in their format. Proverb uses metaphorical and standard language.

Proverb consists of the stories of common artistic composition communities. Few proverbs occur in several languages, borrowed from other languages and norms. Every nation has its specific proverbs. We can know about the proverbial sentence through the incommunicable uniqueness.

A proverb usually recognizes the judgment of tales which has a perception, fact, ethics, and conventional observations. Proverbs show significant character in different kinds of standard mechanisms. Its main focus is to literate the people. It helps people to learn what should they do.

It increases people’s perception level to understand things. Elders used proverbs in their discussions. Using proverbs in discussions is also an ability. Proverbs are also a part of healthy discussions. In earlier days, people stored the proverbs in the displayed form. Proverbs are the main part of the ethics and behaviors of religions.


  • Always respect your teachers.
  • Always obey your elders.
  • Don’t waste your time.
  • Never tell you any secret, even to your closest friend.
  • Don’t tell a lie.
  • Don’t abuse others.
  • Always get up early in the morning to become healthy.
  • Always speak the truth.
  • Be kind to your children.
  • Don’t be cruel.
  • Always do your duty honestly.
  • Don’t wastewater.
  • Don’t whisper in gathering.

Key Differences

  1. The adage is more traditional, whereas proverb is less traditional.
  2. Proverb insists us to think about something, on the other hand, adages are just admitted reality.
  3. The adage is less common; conversely, the proverb is more common in daily life.
  4. Adage believes in facts; on the flip side, a proverb is used virtually.
  5. The adage is an older and traditional phrase, whereas proverb has modernity in them.
  6. Adages are universally admitted realities; on the other hand, proverbs are pieces of advice.


Adage and proverb are the two most common and important phrases used in English literature. Adage is a small but authentic expression, and Proverb is a short idea or advice to do work.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson