aphorism

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aph·o·rism / ˈafəˌrizəm/ • n. 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. DERIVATIVES: aph·o·rist n. aph·o·ris·tic / ˌafəˈristik/ adj. aph·o·ris·ti·cal·ly / ˌafəˈristik(ə)lē/ adv. aph·o·rize / -ˌrīz/ v.

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aphorism a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by a classical author; a pithy observation which contains a general truth. The word comes from the ‘Aphorisms of Hippocrates’, and was transferred to other sententious statements of the principles of physical science, and then to statements of principles generally.

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aphorism XVI. — F. aphorisme, or late L. aphorismus — Gr. aphorismós, f. aphorízein define, f. APO- + horizein (see HORIZON).