American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A terse, witty, instructive saying; a maxim.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark, conveying some important truth; a sententious precept or maxim. Also spelled apophthegm.
- n. Synonyms Aphorism, Axiom, Maxim, etc. See aphorism.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A short, pithy, and instructive saying; a terse remark, conveying some important truth; a sententious precept or maxim.
- n. a short pithy instructive saying
- Mid 16th century: from French apophthegme or Medieval Latin apothegma, from Ancient Greek, from ἀποφθέγγομαι (apophthengomai, "speak out") (Wiktionary)
- Greek apophthegma, from apophthengesthai, to speak plainly : apo-, intensive pref.; see apo- + phthengesthai, phtheg-, to speak. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The whole “pass now, fix later” apothegm is naive.”
“We'll let Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl complete that apothegm in the time-honoured way.”
“In practical terms, it becomes akin to the line about owing a bank a billion dollars, though recent events may have given the lie to that apothegm.”
“Wolpert says he's surprised to discover he's 82, and quotes Oscar Wilde's apothegm "The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.”
“The Burkean apothegm mentioned earlier in the article is very fitting here.”
“But this isn't some random apothegm; it is a dramatic thought, provoked by the life situation of the main character and attributed to him; it certainly is not an Olympian idea delivered from on high.”
“Just remember the apothegm that a government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away.”
“Favorite apothegm by Perry Logan on Saturday, Mar 7, 2009 at 6: 09: 52 AM”
“He concludes with an apothegm for the president -- "When you're cooking up a more perfect Union, sometimes you've got to break some eggs" -- apparently innocent of the provenance of this saying in apologetics for Stalin's mass killings of Russian peasants and political enemies: "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.”
“Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, offers a witty apothegm from the book: “Persistently obscure writers will usually be found to be defective human beings.””
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