• A concise saying or maxim; an aphorism.

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Example Sentences

“An apothegm is a short and sweet phrase that’s supposed to give some sort of life lesson.” 

“My grandmother loved to give advice with an apothegm, such as, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.'”

“That’s a nice apothegm, but I’m looking for more personalized advice.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-16th century

Why this word?

An apothegm can go by many other names: “maxim,” “motto,” “proverb,” “aphorism,” “catchphrase,” “words of wisdom,” “platitude,” or even “cliché.” But what’s special about an apothegm in particular is that it’s especially pithy and easy to remember. “Haste makes waste,” for example, is a perfect apothegm.

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