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1. A tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion; an adage. See Synonyms at saying.
2. A brief statement of a scientific principle.

[French aphorisme, from Old French, from Late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos, from aphorizein, to delimit, define : apo-, apo- + horizein, to delimit, define; see horizon.]

aph′o·rist n.
aph′o·ris′tic (-rĭs′tĭk) adj.
aph′o·ris′ti·cal·ly adv.


1. of, relating to, or resembling an aphorism
2. tending to write or speak in aphorisms


(ˌæf əˈrɪs tɪk)

1. of, like, or containing aphorisms.
2. given to using aphorisms.
aph`o•ris′ti•cal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.aphoristic - containing aphorisms or maxims; "axiomatic wisdom"
2.aphoristic - terse and witty and like a maxim; "much given to apothegmatic instruction"
concise - expressing much in few words; "a concise explanation"


Precisely meaningful and tersely cogent:
Informal: brass-tacks.
Idioms: down to brass tacks, to the point.


[ˌæfəˈrɪstɪk] ADJaforístico


References in periodicals archive ?
These terse, aphoristic essays are unsurpassed in comprehensiveness and depth of understanding, examining not only battlefield maneuvers, but also relevant economic, political, and psychological factors.
Kisery identifies the latter, "wiser sort," as those reading for political knowledge, and then wisely follows up this supposition by attending to Hamlet's recurring use of political maxims, which mirrors the aphoristic style associated with Machiavelli.
Yet this pronouncement was as enigmatic as it was aphoristic, ripe for misinterpretation.
There are moments of sentence-to-sentence integration in Premonition, providing glimpses of story, setting, or discourse, but more often the text reads like a string of aphoristic statements loosely connected by association.
An amalgam of uncontrived prose and aphoristic, sometimes absurd poetic language shimmers and shifts through the refracting rhetorical frameworks employed by Melissa Bull in her debut poetry collection, Rue.
If [Albert's] aphoristic style occasionally gives way to the telegrammatic, or the narrative becomes disorientingly impressionistic, or the narrator's rage about C-sections and social niceties swamping breastfeeding overwhelms her sympathy, it all makes perfect sense and is finally enlightening, sharply moving and true.
At times, O'Malley's irreverent New York Irish humor resembles Oscar Wilde's wit with its aphoristic apercus.
SIMPLICITY," MY aphoristic mother-in-law used to say, sometimes with virtually no provocation, "is the keynote of elegance.
This intriguing, enigmatic collection is divided into three sections of very short pieces which have an epigrammatic or aphoristic quality.
Another effective poem, "Building Blocks," presents a series of aphoristic lines that reveal simple, thought-provoking views.
His aphoristic style undergirds a profound and provocative approach to fundamental theological questions.
Employing an aphoristic, almost Nietzschean, style of prose, Charlton issues a jeremiad against "political correctness," which he identifies as a product of the left (whether socialists, communists, liberals, etc.