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A proverb (from Latin: proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim.
Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language. Both the Bible (including, but not limited to the Book of Proverbs) and medieval Latin (aided by the work of Erasmus) have played a considerable role in distributing proverbs across Europe. Mieder has concluded that cultures that treat the Bible as their "major spiritual book contain between three hundred and five hundred proverbs that stem from the Bible." However, almost every culture has examples of its own unique proverbs.