List of 1000 Proverbs with definition in English

Abhishek Ranavat

List of Proverbs Starting from letter A 

  1. A bad beginning makes a bad ending: This proverb means that if something starts off poorly or with negative actions or intentions, it is likely to have negative consequences in the end.

  2. A bad corn promise is better than a good lawsuit: This proverb suggests that it is better to resolve a dispute or disagreement through compromise, even if it's not the ideal solution, rather than going through a long and costly legal process.

  3. A bad workman quarrels with his tools: This proverb means that someone who is not skilled or proficient in their work will blame their tools or equipment for their mistakes or failures rather than taking responsibility themselves.

  4. A bargain is a bargain: This proverb means that once a deal is agreed upon, it should be honored and not renegotiated later.

  5. A beggar can never be bankrupt: This proverb suggests that someone who has nothing has nothing to lose and may be more willing to take risks or ask for help.

  6. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: This proverb means that it is better to hold onto what you already have rather than taking a risk to get something better that may not materialize.

  7. A bird may be known by its song: This proverb means that you can judge someone's character or intentions by their words or actions.

  8. A black hen lays a white egg: This proverb means that something that seems improbable or unlikely can still happen.

  9. A blind leader of the blind: This proverb refers to someone who is leading others without the necessary knowledge or skills to do so effectively.

  10. A blind man would be glad to see: This proverb suggests that someone who is experiencing a difficult situation would welcome any improvement, even if it's not ideal.

  11. A broken friendship may be soldered, but will never be sound: This proverb means that even if a broken friendship is repaired, it may never be as strong or trustworthy as it once was.

  12. A burden of one's own choice is not felt: This proverb means that when someone chooses to take on a burden, they are more willing to bear it and feel it less.

  13. A burnt child dreads the fire: This proverb means that someone who has experienced pain or trauma is likely to be cautious or fearful of similar situations in the future.

  14. A cat in gloves catches no mice: This proverb suggests that someone who is too cautious or afraid to take risks may miss out on opportunities.

  15. A city that parleys is half gotten: This proverb means that by negotiating or compromising, half the battle is already won.

  16. A civil denial is better than a rude grant: This proverb means that it's better to politely refuse something than to accept it rudely or without gratitude.

  17. A clean fast is better than a dirty breakfast: This proverb suggests that it's better to refrain from something completely rather than doing it half-heartedly or incompletely.

  18. A clean hand wants no washing: This proverb means that someone who is innocent or honest has nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

  19. A clear conscience laughs at false accusations: This proverb means that someone who knows they are innocent can disregard false accusations made against them.

  20. A close mouth catches no flies: This proverb suggests that someone who is too quiet or reserved may miss out on opportunities.

  21. A cock is valiant on his own dunghill: This proverb means that someone may appear brave or confident in familiar or comfortable surroundings but may be less so in unfamiliar or challenging situations.

  22. A cracked bell can never sound well: This proverb means that someone or something that is damaged or flawed can never perform at their best.

  23. A creaking door hangs long on its hinges - Something that may not be perfect, but has been durable and has stood the test of time.

  24. A curst cow has short horns - Someone who has a bad attitude or behavior often meets a bad end.

  25. A danger foreseen is half avoided - If you anticipate a problem or danger, you can take measures to avoid it or minimize its effects.

  26. A drop in the bucket - A small, insignificant amount that will have little impact on the overall situation.

  27. A drowning man will catch at a straw - When someone is in a desperate situation, they will grasp at anything, no matter how unlikely or useless it may seem.

  28. A fair face may hide a foul heart - Just because someone appears good or kind on the surface does not mean they have good intentions or a good character.

  29. A fault confessed is half redressed - Admitting to a mistake is the first step towards making amends and improving the situation.

  30. A fly in the ointment - A small issue or problem that spoils an otherwise good situation.

  31. A fool always rushes to the fore - Someone who lacks wisdom or good judgement will often be quick to speak up or take action, even when it is not warranted.

  32. A fool and his money are soon parted - Someone who is foolish with their money will quickly lose it.

  33. A fool at forty is a fool indeed - If someone has not gained wisdom or good judgement by the age of 40, it is unlikely they ever will.

  34. A fool may ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years - Someone who lacks knowledge or understanding may ask many questions, but may not be capable of comprehending the answers.

  35. A fool may throw a stone into a well which a hundred wise men cannot pull out - One foolish action can have greater consequences than the efforts of many wise individuals.

  36. A fool's tongue runs before his wit - Someone who lacks good judgement or discretion may speak impulsively without considering the consequences of their words.

  37. A forced kindness deserves no thanks - If someone is only being kind or helpful because they feel obligated to do so, it is not genuine and does not warrant gratitude.

  38. A foul morn may turn to a fair day - Just because things start off badly does not mean they will stay that way. There is always a chance for improvement.

  39. A fox is not taken twice in the same snare - Someone who is clever and experienced will not fall for the same trick or trap twice.

  40. A friend in need is a friend indeed - A true friend is someone who is there for you when you need them, regardless of the circumstances.

  41. A friend is never known till needed: This proverb suggests that one can never truly know who their true friends are until they are in need. It means that real friends reveal themselves in times of crisis or difficulty.

  42. A friend to all is a friend to none: This proverb implies that if someone is friends with everyone, they may not have deep, meaningful relationships with anyone. It suggests that true friendship requires some level of exclusivity and intimacy.

  43. A friend's frown is better than a foe's smile: This proverb suggests that it is better to have a friend who is honest and critical than an enemy who pretends to be friendly. It implies that true friendship requires honesty, even when it is uncomfortable.

  44. A good anvil does not fear the hammer: This proverb means that someone who is strong and resilient does not fear criticism or challenges. Like a good anvil that can withstand the hammer's blows, a strong person can withstand adversity and criticism.

  45. A good beginning is half the battle: This proverb suggests that starting something well is crucial to its success. It implies that a good start sets the tone for the rest of the endeavor and can make a significant difference in the outcome.

  46. A good beginning makes a good ending: This proverb means that if one begins a task or project well, it is more likely to end well. It suggests that a good start creates a positive momentum that carries through to the end.

  47. A good deed is never lost: This proverb suggests that doing good deeds has a positive impact, even if one does not receive immediate or direct benefits. It implies that being kind and helpful to others is its own reward.

  48. A good dog deserves a good bone: This proverb means that someone who behaves well and is deserving of good things should receive them. It implies that good behavior should be rewarded.

  49. A good example is the best sermon: This proverb suggests that leading by example is the most effective way to inspire others. It implies that actions speak louder than words, and a good example can have a powerful impact.

  50. A good face is a letter of recommendation: This proverb suggests that one's appearance can have a significant impact on how they are perceived. It implies that a good-looking person may have an advantage in certain situations.

  51. A good Jack makes a good Jill: This proverb means that if a man is good, his wife will likely be good as well. It implies that a good partner can have a positive influence on their spouse.

  52. A good marksman may miss: This proverb suggests that even someone who is skilled or experienced can make mistakes. It implies that no one is infallible, and even the best can falter at times.

  53. A good name is better than riches: This proverb suggests that having a good reputation is more valuable than wealth. It implies that one's reputation is a reflection of their character and can open doors that money cannot.

  54. A good name is sooner lost than won: This proverb suggests that it is easier to lose one's reputation than to earn it. It implies that reputation is fragile and requires constant attention and effort to maintain.

  55. A good name keeps its lustre in the dark: This proverb suggests that true character shines through even in difficult times. It implies that someone with a good reputation will not falter when faced with challenges or adversity.

  56. A good wife makes a good husband: This proverb suggests that a good wife can have a positive influence on her husband's character. It implies that a supportive and loving partner can help their spouse become a better person.

  57. A great dowry is a bed full of brambles: This proverb means that a large amount of wealth or property that is given as a dowry can bring problems and complications, just as a bed of brambles would.

  58. A great fortune is a great slavery: This proverb means that having a great amount of wealth can bring many responsibilities and can be a burden, just as being enslaved would be.

  59. A great ship asks deep waters: This proverb means that a great undertaking requires great effort and resources to succeed.

  60. A guilty conscience needs no accuser: This proverb means that when a person has done something wrong, they will feel guilty and know it themselves, even if no one else accuses them.

  61. A hard nut to crack: This proverb means that something is difficult to understand or solve.

  62. A heavy purse makes a light heart: This proverb means that having a lot of money can make a person feel happy and carefree.

  63. A hedge between keeps friendship green: This proverb means that a boundary or barrier can help preserve a friendship by preventing disputes or misunderstandings.

  64. A honey tongue, a heart of gall: This proverb means that a person who speaks in a sweet and charming way may have evil intentions.

  65. A hungry belly has no ears: This proverb means that when a person is very hungry, they cannot focus or pay attention to anything else.

  66. A hungry man is an angry man: This proverb means that a person who is hungry is more likely to become irritable and short-tempered.

  67. A Jack of all trades is master of none: This proverb means that a person who is skilled at many things is not necessarily an expert in any of them.

  68. A Joke never gains an enemy but often loses a friend: This proverb means that while telling jokes can be entertaining, they can also offend or upset others and cause them to distance themselves.

  69. A lawyer never goes to law himself: This proverb means that a person who is knowledgeable about the law will do everything they can to avoid legal troubles.

  70. A lazy sheep thinks its wool heavy: This proverb means that a lazy person may see even minor tasks as burdensome and difficult.

  71. A liar is not believed when he speaks the truth: This proverb means that when a person has a reputation for lying, even when they tell the truth, people may not believe them.

  72. A lie begets a lie: This proverb means that when a person tells a lie, they may feel compelled to tell more lies to cover it up.

  73. A light purse is a heavy curse: This proverb means that not having enough money can be a great burden and cause many problems.

  74. A light purse makes a heavy heart: This proverb means that financial worries can weigh heavily on a person's emotions and mental well-being.

  75. A little fire is quickly trodden out: A small problem or conflict can be easily solved before it becomes bigger.

  76. A man can die but once: Everyone will eventually die, and death is inevitable.

  77. A man can do no more than he can: A person can only do what is within their ability, and they should not be expected to do more.

  78. A man is known by the company he keeps: The character of a person can be judged by the people they associate with.

  79. A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds: Someone who talks a lot but does not follow through on their promises or commitments is not worth much.

  80. A miserly father makes a prodigal son: A person who is excessively frugal or stingy may cause their children to become wasteful spenders in rebellion.

  81. A miss is as good as a mile: A failure is still a failure, regardless of how close one came to success.

  82. A new broom sweeps clean: A new leader or manager can bring about positive change.

  83. A nod from a lord is a breakfast for a fool: A person in a position of power or authority can easily manipulate those who are eager for their approval.

  84. A penny saved is a penny gained: Saving money is just as important as earning it.

  85. A penny soul never came to twopence: Someone who is miserly or stingy will never become wealthy.

  86. A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder: A clear conscience allows a person to sleep peacefully even in the face of danger or adversity.

  87. A rolling stone gathers no moss: A person who is constantly moving or changing will not accumulate wealth or stability.

  88. A round peg in a square hole: A person who does not fit in with their surroundings or job.

  89. A shy cat makes a proud mouse: Someone who appears timid or weak can still be intimidating to others.

  90. A silent fool is counted wise: Someone who does not speak may be perceived as intelligent, even if they are not.

  91. A small leak will sink a great ship: Small problems or issues can lead to big consequences if not addressed early on.

  92. A soft answer turns away wrath: Responding calmly and kindly to an angry person can defuse the situation.

  93. A sound mind in a sound body: A person needs to be physically and mentally healthy to function at their best.

  94. A stitch in time saves nine: Taking care of small problems immediately can prevent bigger problems later.

  95. A storm in a teacup: An overreaction to a minor issue.

  96. A tattler is worse than a thief: Gossiping or spreading rumors can be more harmful than stealing.

  97. A thief knows a thief as a wolf knows a wolf: Criminals can easily recognize and identify each other.

  98. A thief passes for a gentleman when stealing has made him rich: Wealth can mask a person's true character or actions.

  99. A threatened blow is seldom given: Threatening violence is often an empty gesture and is rarely followed through.

  100. A wager is a fool's argument: Taking a bet or making a bet is a foolish argument or decision.

  101. A watched pot never boils: If you keep anxiously waiting for something to happen, it seems to take forever.

  102. A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will: It is a wise person who can admit to being wrong and change their opinion or actions, whereas a foolish person will stubbornly stick to their ways.

  103. A wolf in sheep's clothing: Someone who appears friendly and harmless but is actually dangerous.

  104. A wonder lasts but nine days: The novelty or excitement of something new usually wears off after a short time.

  105. A word is enough to the wise: A wise person only needs a single hint or suggestion to understand what they need to do or say.

  106. A word spoken is past recalling: Once words have been spoken, they cannot be taken back or undone.

  107. Actions speak louder than words: What a person does is more important than what they say.

  108. Adversity is a great schoolmaster: Difficult experiences can teach us valuable lessons and make us stronger.

  109. Adversity makes strange bedfellows: Difficult situations can force people who don't usually get along to work together.

  110. After a storm comes a calm: Difficult times eventually pass and things will become easier.

  111. After dinner comes the reckoning: Eventually, we must face the consequences of our actions.

  112. After dinner sit (sleep) a while, after supper walk a mile: It's healthy to rest after eating dinner but it's also important to stay active after supper.

  113. After rain comes fair weather: Good things will come after a difficult period.

  114. After us the deluge: After our time is over, the world can be destroyed or suffer.

  115. Agues come on horseback, but go away on foot: Illnesses often come suddenly and severely but can be overcome with time and care.

  116. All are good lasses, but whence come the bad wives?: People may have good intentions, but their actions and behavior may not always match.

  117. All are not friends that speak us fair: People who are friendly and kind may not always have our best interests in mind.

  118. All are not hunters that blow the horn: Not everyone who talks about their achievements or skills can actually back it up.

  119. All are not saints that go to church: This proverb means that just because someone attends church regularly, it does not necessarily mean that they are a good or moral person.

  120. All asses wag their ears: This proverb means that everyone, even the most foolish person, has some degree of intelligence or insight.

  121. All bread is not baked in one oven: This proverb means that not everything is the same or equal, and there are often variations in quality and outcomes.

  122. All cats are grey in the dark (in the night): This proverb means that in difficult or obscure circumstances, all things or people may appear the same or equal.

  123. All covet, all lose: This proverb means that the desire for something may lead to losing it or missing out on other important things.

  124. All doors open to courtesy: This proverb means that politeness and kindness can often help one to gain access to people and places that might otherwise be closed to them.

  125. All is fish that comes to his net: This proverb means that someone is willing to accept or make use of anything that comes their way, regardless of its quality or value.

  126. All is not lost that is in peril: This proverb means that although something may be in danger or facing difficulties, there is still hope for it.

  127. All is well that ends well: This proverb means that a positive outcome is the most important thing, regardless of the difficulties or problems that may have been encountered along the way.

  128. All lay load on the willing horse: This proverb means that those who are willing to help and work hard are often given more responsibilities and tasks.

  129. All men can't be first: This proverb means that not everyone can be a leader or be in the top position.

  130. All men can't be masters: This proverb means that not everyone can be in charge or have control over a situation.

  131. All promises are either broken or kept: This proverb means that there is no in-between when it comes to promises; they are either fulfilled or broken.

  132. All roads lead to Rome: This proverb means that there are many different paths or methods to achieve the same goal.

  133. All sugar and honey: This proverb means that everything is pleasant and enjoyable, without any problems or difficulties.

  134. All that glitters is not gold: This proverb means that appearances can be deceiving, and things that appear valuable or attractive may not necessarily be so.

  135. All things are difficult before they are easy: This proverb means that learning or mastering a new skill or task may be challenging at first, but becomes easier with practice and time.

  136. All truths are not to be told: This proverb means that there are certain things that should be kept secret or not revealed, as they may cause harm or have negative consequences.

  137. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy: This proverb means that too much work and no leisure or fun can make someone boring or uninteresting

  138. "Almost" never killed a fly (was never hanged): This proverb means that being close to accomplishing something is not the same as actually achieving it. A task or goal that is almost completed still requires effort to be fully achieved.

  139. Among the blind the one-eyed man is king: This proverb means that in a group of unskilled or ignorant individuals, the one who has a little bit of knowledge or ability will be regarded as an expert.

  140. An apple a day keeps the doctor away: This proverb suggests that a healthy lifestyle, including eating nutritious food, can prevent illnesses and therefore reduce the need for medical attention.

  141. An ass in a lion's skin: This proverb refers to someone who is pretending to be someone they are not, often in an attempt to gain respect or admiration.

  142. An ass is but an ass, though laden with gold: This proverb means that money cannot change one's basic nature or character.

  143. An ass loaded with gold climbs to the top of the castle: This proverb suggests that wealth can enable people to achieve their goals and ambitions, even if they lack other skills or qualities.

  144. An empty hand is no lure for a hawk: This proverb means that it is difficult to attract people or opportunities when you have nothing to offer.

  145. An empty sack cannot stand upright: This proverb suggests that without substance or content, a person or thing is worthless.

  146. An empty vessel gives a greater sound than a full barrel: This proverb means that those who know the least often make the most noise.

  147. An evil chance seldom comes alone: This proverb means that when something bad happens, it is often followed by more bad luck or misfortune.

  148. An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told: This proverb means that the truth is more effective when it is presented clearly and simply.

  149. An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening: This proverb means that people are often more productive and focused in the morning than they are later in the day.

  150. An idle brain is the devil's workshop: This proverb suggests that people who do not have anything productive to do can easily get into trouble.

  151. An ill wound is cured, not an ill name: This proverb means that a good reputation is difficult to regain after it has been damaged, but physical wounds can be healed.

  152. An oak is not felled at one stroke: This proverb means that great achievements require persistent effort over time.

  153. An old dog barks not in vain: This proverb means that older, experienced individuals often have valuable insights or warnings that should be taken seriously.

  154. An open door may tempt a saint: This proverb suggests that even good people may be tempted to do something wrong if the opportunity is too tempting.

  155. An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of learning: This proverb means that sometimes it is more important to exercise caution and good judgment than it is to have a lot of knowledge.

  156. An ox is taken by the horns, and a man by the tongue: This proverb means that animals can be controlled physically, but humans can be influenced by words and persuasion.

  157. An unfortunate man would be drowned in a teacup: This proverb means that some people are so unlucky that even minor setbacks or problems can be overwhelming to them.

  158. Anger and haste hinder good counsel: Making decisions in a state of anger or haste often results in poor judgment.

  159. Any port in a storm: When facing a difficult situation, any solution will do.

  160. Appearances are deceitful: What appears to be true may not always be true.

  161. Appetite comes with eating: The more you do something, the more you will want to do it.

  162. As drunk as a lord: Extremely intoxicated.

  163. As innocent as a babe unborn: Completely innocent and pure.

  164. As like as an apple to an oyster: Two things that are completely dissimilar.

  165. As like as two peas: Two things that are exactly the same.

  166. As old as the hills: Something that has been around for a very long time.

  167. As plain as the nose on a man's face: Something that is very obvious and easily noticed.

  168. As plain as two and two make four: A simple and undeniable truth.

  169. As snug as a bug in a rug: Very comfortable and cozy.

  170. As sure as eggs is eggs: Something that is certain to happen.

  171. As the call, so the echo: One's actions or behavior may bring about a similar response from others.

  172. As the fool thinks, so the bell clinks: Foolish thoughts lead to foolish actions.

  173. As the old cock crows, so does the young: Children often imitate the behavior of their elders.

  174. As the tree falls, so shall it lie: One's destiny is determined by one's actions.

  175. As the tree, so the fruit: The quality of the fruit is determined by the quality of the tree.

  176. As welcome as flowers in May: Something that is very much appreciated and desired.

  177. As welcome as water in one's shoes: Something that is not at all appreciated or desired.

  178. As well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb: This proverb means that if you are going to be punished for a crime, you might as well commit the most serious offense, since the punishment will be the same.

  179. As you brew, so must you drink: This proverb means that the consequences of one's actions will eventually catch up with them.

  180. As you make your bed, so must you lie on it: This proverb means that one must face the consequences of their actions and decisions.

  181. As you sow, so shall you reap: This proverb means that the consequences of one's actions will come back to them, either as rewards or punishments.

  182. Ask no questions and you will be told no lies: This proverb advises that it's better to stay out of a situation or not ask questions to avoid being deceived.

  183. At the ends of the earth: This proverb means in the farthest or most remote place possible.