Definition of saying in English:



  • 1A short, pithy, commonly known expression which generally offers advice or wisdom.

    • ‘You know in our tradition we have a saying that ‘the best person is one who serves others.’’
    • ‘The walls were covered in photographs, posters and funny sayings that had been printed off a computer, her desk was covered in piles of paper, folders and files and yet she seemed to know where everything was.’
    • ‘I mean we have a common saying in paediatrics that up until about six years of age your child will have six to eight viral infections a year.’
    • ‘There's a saying in Cuba that whenever there are two Cubans together, there are three opinions.’
    • ‘Yet, however timeless many peasant traditions, sayings and beliefs may seem, ethnographic evidence cannot transport us to the world of three centuries ago.’
    • ‘There's a saying that Mauritians have such sweet dispositions because so much of their country is covered in sugar.’
    • ‘I'll finish with a saying I like to use in all of my motivational speeches: Challenges are inevitable.’
    • ‘That saying about laughter being the best medicine is hokey but true, especially for shaking the blues.’
    • ‘But there's an old saying: just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.’
    • ‘Chile's rich store of folklore, sayings, and supernatural beliefs is derived from its European and Indian past, as well as its relation to the mountains and the ocean.’
    • ‘By the late 1800s, an Estonian identity had been established and efforts were being made to retrieve the ‘original culture’ by collecting folk poems, sayings, and songs.’
    • ‘Rivers in all their forms have become the raw material for countless metaphors, myths, sayings, and symbols.’
    • ‘A collection of wise sayings also makes up the remnants of Norse religion.’
    • ‘There is a saying that every great play has a mystery in it.’
    • ‘Naval terminology is unique but can be misunderstood and potentially dangerous if our traditions and sayings drift over into other areas of our lives, therefore we need to be careful.’
    • ‘After all, there is a famous saying that one person's rights end where another's begin.’
    • ‘Often a pithy saying or proverb has been written in the chosen script beside the alphabet.’
    • ‘The first part was a simple curse, and the second an old saying.’
    • ‘The legends and sayings about her, locked into memorable shapes like any other conventionalised poetic utterance, did not necessarily adapt to her changing social role.’
    • ‘On the basis of this evidence, the saying that ‘content is king’ has become somewhat of a truism.’
    proverb, maxim, aphorism, axiom, adage, saw, tag, motto, precept, epigram, epigraph, dictum, gnome, pearl of wisdom
    expression, phrase, formula
    slogan, catchphrase
    platitude, cliché, commonplace, truism
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1sayings A collection of short, pithy expressions identified with a particular person, especially a political or religious leader:
      ‘this is stated in the sayings of the Prophet’
      • ‘The Islamic equivalent of Leviticus is found not in the Koran, but in the Hadith, believed to be the collected sayings of the Prophet.’
      • ‘The web of mistrust that is slowly spun throughout the film confirms Wilde's most famous of sayings: ‘There's no good and bad; people are only charming and tedious.’’
      • ‘Also uncovered in the papyri were a fragment of collected sayings of Jesus - ‘a sort of greatest hits’ - and a book of quotations by the Son of God.’
      • ‘The revelations he received are in the Qur'an which, supplemented by his own sayings and actions, are the foundational texts of Islam.’
      • ‘Of course, Islamic economists can also draw upon the recorded sayings of Muhammed, which are summarized in the 19 volume Encyclopedia of Hadith.’
      • ‘Today she is reading the Gospel of Thomas, a document found in Egypt, that purports to contain authentic sayings of Christ.’
      • ‘Many of the country's laws are based on the Koran and the Hadith, a collection of Mohammed's sayings.’
      • ‘Some had their own gospels, with stories and sayings of Jesus.’
      • ‘In contrast to the evidence for his physical theories, many of the ethical fragments are lists of sayings quoted without context, rather than critical philosophical discussions of atomist views.’
      • ‘Both women and men went into the desert and the sayings of the Desert Mothers and Fathers were collected, as people visited them to seek their wisdom.’
      • ‘A further reason for collecting the sayings and writings of Sir William Osler is to introduce him to a new generation of medical students, and to refresh the memory of an older generation.’
      • ‘This period takes its cue from one of Hitler's sayings, quoted early on in the film: ‘Personal morals are dead.’’