Definition of saying in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈseɪɪŋ/


1A short, pithy, commonly known expression which generally offers advice or wisdom.
Example sentences
  • Often a pithy saying or proverb has been written in the chosen script beside the alphabet.
  • 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.
  • I'll finish with a saying I like to use in all of my motivational speeches: Challenges are inevitable.
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
rare apophthegm
1.1 (sayings) 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
More example sentences
  • Many of the country's laws are based on the Koran and the Hadith, a collection of Mohammed's sayings.
  • Of course, Islamic economists can also draw upon the recorded sayings of Muhammed, which are summarized in the 19 volume Encyclopedia of Hadith.
  • 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.


as (or so) the saying goes (or is)

Used to introduce or follow an expression, drawing attention to its status as a saying rather than part of one’s normal language: I am, as the saying goes, burnt out
More example sentences
  • Many hands make light work or so the saying goes, so imagine just what's possible among 166 community and voluntary groups throughout the county.
  • Everyone, so the saying goes, has a book in them; a writer is someone with more than one, and preferably not all about themselves.
  • Winning isn't everything, so the saying goes, but for a top sports player losing is the worst imaginable outcome.

Words that rhyme with saying


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: say¦ing

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.