a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation, as “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton).
- aph·o·ris·mic, aph·o·ris·mat·ic [af-uh-riz-mat-ik], /ˌæf ə rɪzˈmæt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use aphorism in a sentence
She is laconic, matter of fact, and frequently speaks in “life is a journey”-type metaphors and aphorisms—all part of her charm.Diane von Furstenberg: How I Learned to Love My Wrap Dress | Lizzie Crocker | October 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“To read means to borrow,” wrote G.C. Lichtenberg in one of his many unkillable aphorisms.Compliments Are Nice, but Enough With the Cormac McCarthy Comparisons | William Giraldi | October 21, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Picasso, that volcanic talker, filled volumes with his anecdotes, aphorisms, and witticisms.Rackstraw Downes’s Art and Essays Are Two Sides of the Same Genius | Bill Morris | June 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is told in a series of short paragraphs and aphorisms, many no longer than a single line.The Daily Grind of Domesticity in Jenny Offill’s ‘Dept. of Speculation’ | Andrea Walker | February 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I'll go for long periods without posting anything, then suddenly feel a rush of aphorisms and stick up 10 in a row.
You will stand aloof like a second Aurelius, coining austere aphorisms and mocking the weakness of your unlearned fellows.Sinister Street, vol. 1 | Compton Mackenzie
The first contains a series of aphorisms, while the other teaches the wisdom of life in the testament of a dying father.
Zweifel has produced several small works of aphorisms which have been very popular and have been frequently reprinted.
Even the aphorisms that were essentially humorous lose value in that degraded spelling.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete | Albert Bigelow Paine
These aphorisms formed, says Littr, "a succession of propositions in juxtaposition, but not united."An Epitome of the History of Medicine | Roswell Park
British Dictionary definitions for aphorism
a short pithy saying expressing a general truth; maxim
- aphorist, noun
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
Cultural definitions for aphorism
A concise and often witty statement of wisdom or opinion, such as “Children should be seen and not heard,” or “People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.