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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for axiom
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is an axiom in all progress that the more we conquer the more easily we conquer.

  • That the half may be better than the whole in travel is an axiom verified every day.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • In the practice of law this axiom is not yet generally accepted.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • It's an axiom, I think, that to heighten a nation's wisdom you must lower its franchise.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • So convinced am I of the truth of this axiom, that I should not die easy if I had not told it.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • I am able, as well as any man, to verify the truth of this axiom.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • The axiom was a favourite with his father, who had sickened him with it.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • That is an axiom I have frequently heard fall from the lips of my dear mistress.

    Aunt Rachel David Christie Murray
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 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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