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90s Slang You Should Know


[ak-see-uh m] /ˈæk si əm/
a self-evident truth that requires no proof.
a universally accepted principle or rule.
Logic, Mathematics. a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it.
Origin of axiom
1475-85; < Latin axiōma < Greek: something worthy, equivalent to axiō-, variant stem of axioûn to reckon worthy + -ma resultative noun suffix
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for axiom
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When either side will not collide, it is an axiom of controversy that it desires to prevent the truth from being elicited.

  • "No thing is stronger than it is in its weakest point" is an axiom.

    Between the Lines Henry Bascom Smith
  • “After a storm comes a calm,” says the old adage, but the reverse of this axiom holds equally good at sea.

    The White Squall John Conroy Hutcheson
  • This is a purely spiritual question and brings us to the third axiom.

    The Lost Art of Reading Gerald Stanley Lee
  • I lay it down as an axiom, that only that is criminal in the sight of God where crime is meditated.

    Behind the Scenes Elizabeth Keckley
  • She was rather tired of the axiom that all women, at all times, are perfection.

    Tea-Table Talk Jerome K. Jerome
  • It is an axiom in conjuring that the best trick loses half its effect on repetition.

    Magic Ellis Stanyon
  • Let us not hesitate to denounce as false this proposition which is presented to us as an axiom.

    The Mind and the Brain Alfred Binet
British Dictionary definitions for axiom


a generally accepted proposition or principle, sanctioned by experience; maxim
a universally established principle or law that is not a necessary truth: the axioms of politics
a self-evident statement
(logic, maths) a statement or formula that is stipulated to be true for the purpose of a chain of reasoning: the foundation of a formal deductive system Compare assumption (sense 4)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin axiōma a principle, from Greek, from axioun to consider worthy, from axios worthy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for axiom

late 15c., from Middle French axiome, from Latin axioma, from Greek axioma "authority," literally "that which is thought worthy or fit," from axioun "to think worthy," from axios "worthy, worth, of like value, weighing as much," from PIE adjective *ag-ty-o- "weighty," from root *ag- "to drive, draw, move" (see act (n.)).

Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses. [Keats, letter, May 3, 1818]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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axiom in Science
A principle that is accepted as true without proof. The statement "For every two points P and Q there is a unique line that contains both P and Q" is an axiom because no other information is given about points or lines, and therefore it cannot be proven. Also called postulate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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axiom in Culture
axiom [(ak-see-uhm)]

In mathematics, a statement that is unproved but accepted as a basis for other statements, usually because it seems so obvious.

Note: The term axiomatic is used generally to refer to a statement so obvious that it needs no proof.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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