Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A terse, witty, instructive saying; a maxim.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short, witty, instructive saying; an aphorism or maxim.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A short, pithy, and instructive saying; a terse remark, conveying some important truth; a sententious precept or maxim.

from The 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a short pithy instructive saying

Etymologies

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)
Mid 16th century: from French apophthegme or Medieval Latin apothegma, from Ancient Greek, from ἀποφθέγγομαι (apophthengomai, "speak out") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • poth-y mouthed word.

    December 13, 2008

  • "Gunnie had been loyal to me and to Urth, not to her comrades; and perhaps we are unable to advance some paragon of loyalty to an apothegm only because loyalty (in the final analysis) is choice." -- Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun

    October 7, 2008

  • the British spelling is apophthegm.

    August 17, 2008