A Word A Day : Aphorism


Tuesday, 25th December 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : áffo-rìzzom

1. a terse saying embodying a general truth or astute observation, as Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

2. a tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion

3. a brief statement of a principle

4. a succinct statement expressing an opinion or a general truth


Early 16th century - French aphorisme - Greek aphorizein - define - horizein - delimit


adage, apothegm, axiom, daffodil, dictum, maxim, moral, precept, proverb, rule, saying, truism, epigram

NOTE:An epigram is a short statement that makes an interesting, frequently profound, observation about life or the world. An epigraph is a statement culled from the writings or sayings of someone else and used as the heading


seriousness, Confusing statement

Contextual Examples:

• Jerome Kern's famous aphorism : Irving Berlin has no place in American music - he is American music.

• He belonged to that natural, humorous school who took for their motto in the seventeenth century the aphorism uttered by one of their number in 1653 : To despise flowers is to offend God.

• Please keep in mind this aphorism : People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Related Words:

aphorist: Noun

aphoristic : Adjective

aphoristically: Adverb

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