a word to the wise


Also found in: Acronyms.

a word to the wise

A phrase that emphasizes a statement as advice. It is a shortening of the phrase "a word to the wise is sufficient," meaning that a wise or intelligent person can take a hint and does not need a long explanation. A word to the wise—don't use Amy's baby shower as an opportunity to announce your engagement. Stay away from the boss today, he's in a bad mood. Just a word to the wise.
See also: wise, word

a word to the wise

a good piece of advice; a word of wisdom. (See also .) If I can give you a word to the wise, I would suggest going to the courthouse about an hour before your trial. Here is a word to the wise. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut.
See also: wise, word

word to the wise (is enough).

 and A word to the wise is sufficient.
Prov. You only have to hint something to wise people in order to get them to understand it.; Wise people do not need long explanations. (Often used to signal that you are hinting something.) John's a pleasant man, but I wouldn't trust him with money. A word to the wise, eh? Donna hinted about Lisa's drinking problem to Lisa's fiancé, hoping that a word to the wise would be enough.
See also: wise, word

a word to the wise

a hint or brief explanation given, that being all that is required.
The equivalent Latin phrase is verbum sapienti sat est (a word to the wise is enough); the abbreviation of this, verb. sap ., is sometimes used in English.
1983 Penelope Lively Perfect Happiness A word to the wise. If you don't know the place I'm told the thing to do is steer clear of the guided tours.
See also: wise, word

a ˌword to the ˈwise

used to introduce some advice, especially when only a few words are necessary: The band are now touring the UK. A word to the wise though — make sure you book tickets early.
See also: wise, word