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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 ?
Considerable laughter emerges out of the terrible circumstances that surround Aron and his family, as the only defence the Jews of Warsaw have against patented insanity, and it rings convincingly with the syntax and speech patterns of aphoristic Yiddish wit.
At times, O'Malley's irreverent New York Irish humor resembles Oscar Wilde's wit with its aphoristic apercus.
Although a number of critics have praised the film for its formal experimentation with 3D, few are willing to investigate what ideas the film actually puts forth, in part because Godard's aphoristic collage-like style discourages narrative continuity.
This memorial exhibition included thirteen poein paintings, several of them featuring aphoristic inscriptions on found, junk-store canvases.
His aphoristic style undergirds a profound and provocative approach to fundamental theological questions.
His new songs are focused and aphoristic, earnestly reflecting on life without getting too precious.
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.
His aphoristic style of writing enables perspective by incongruity.
Rohr's best observations are always aphoristic and incisive, reflecting not mere intellectual cleverness, but profound contemplative experience.
Cavell is extensively quoted in Secular Mysteries but rarely summarized, and the result is that he can appear aphoristic or even mystical.
Now starts the harder part," ran an aphoristic turn in his speech.
WE can normally rely on Dr Johnson to hit the aphoristic nail on the head, but I feel increasingly unsure about his assertion that a man who is tired of London is tired of life.