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axiom

[ak-see-uh m]
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noun
  1. a self-evident truth that requires no proof.
  2. a universally accepted principle or rule.
  3. Logic, Mathematics. a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it.
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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 confusedadage aphorism apothegm axiom maxim proverbassumption axiom premise presumption
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

aphorism, dictum, maxim, precept, adage, theorem, proverb, saying, fundamental, truism, apothegm, proposition, moral, truth, device, postulate, law

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.

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

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for axiom

axiom

noun
  1. a generally accepted proposition or principle, sanctioned by experience; maxim
  2. a universally established principle or law that is not a necessary truththe axioms of politics
  3. a self-evident statement
  4. 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 systemCompare assumption (def. 4)
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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

Word Origin and History for axiom

n.

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]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

axiom in Science

axiom

[ăksē-əm]
  1. 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
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.

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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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.