Aphorism

Aphorism

ˈafəˌrizəm

Noun

  • A pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  • A concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by an ancient classical author.

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Example Sentences

“My grandfather loves to impart his wisdom through aphorisms.”

“‘Actions speak louder than words’ is a smart aphorism for relationships.”

“She treasured the book of aphorisms her mother gave her on her wedding day.”

Word Origin

Greek, early 16th century

Why this word?

Sometimes the ancient root of a word matches up perfectly to the modern definition. “Aphorism” comes from the Greek word “aphorismós,” which directly translates to “definition,” but the usage was closer to “brief statements and general reflections of facts.” Many credit the Greek physician Hippocrates for the invention of this word in his 400 BCE writing “Aphorisms of Hippocrates.” Today, you can keep in mind one of the most well-known aphorisms: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

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Learn a new word Eponymous

əˈpänəməs