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Aphorism definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

APH'ORISM, n. [Gr. determination, distinction; from to separate.]
A maxim; a precept, or principle expressed in few words; a detached sentence containing some important truth; as, the aphorisms of Hippocrates, or of the civil law.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a short pithy instructive saying [syn: aphorism, apothegm, apophthegm]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle French aphorisme, from Late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos definition, aphorism, from aphorizein to define, from apo- + horizein to bound more at horizon Date: 1528 1. a concise statement of a principle 2. a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment ; adage aphorist noun aphoristic adjective aphoristically adverb

Britannica Concise

Terse formulation of any generally accepted truth or sentiment conveyed in a pithy, memorable statement. The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, a long series of propositions concerning disease and the art of healing. Aphorisms were used especially in dealing with subjects for which principles and methodology developed relatively late, incl. art, agriculture, medicine, jurisprudence, and politics, but in the modern era they have usually been vehicles of wit and pithy wisdom. Celebrated modern aphorists include F. Nietzsche and O. Wilde.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. 1 a short pithy maxim. 2 a brief statement of a principle. Derivatives: aphorist n. aphoristic adj. aphoristically adv. aphorize v.intr. (also -ise). Etymology: F aphorisme or LL f. Gk aphorismos definition f. aphorizo (as APO-, horos boundary)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Aphorism Aph"o*rism, n. [F. aphorisme, fr. Gr. ? definition, a short, pithy sentence, fr. ? to mark off by boundaries, to define; ? from + ? to separate, part. See Horizon.] A comprehensive maxim or principle expressed in a few words; a sharply defined sentence relating to abstract truth rather than to practical matters. The first aphorism of Hippocrates is, ``Life is short, and the art is long.'' --Fleming. Syn: Axiom; maxim; adage; proverb; apothegm; saying; saw; truism; dictum. See Axiom.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(aphorisms) An aphorism is a short witty sentence which expresses a general truth or comment. (FORMAL) = witticism N-COUNT

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Maxim, adage, proverb, saying, dictum, saw, apothegm, byword, sententious precept.

Moby Thesaurus

abridgment, adage, ana, analects, apothegm, axiom, bon mot, boutade, bright idea, bright thought, brilliant idea, brocard, byword, catchword, collected sayings, conceit, crack, current saying, dictate, dictum, distich, epigram, expression, facetiae, flash of wit, flight of wit, gibe, gnome, golden saying, happy thought, maxim, moral, mot, motto, nasty crack, oracle, persiflage, phrase, pithy saying, play of wit, pleasantry, precept, prescript, proverb, proverbial saying, proverbs, quip, quips and cranks, repartee, retort, riposte, rule, sally, saw, saying, scintillation, sentence, sententious expression, sloka, smart crack, smart saying, snappy comeback, stock saying, stroke of wit, sutra, teaching, text, truism, turn of thought, verse, wisdom, wisdom literature, wise saying, wisecrack, witticism, word, words of wisdom


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