I. noun 1. a pithy observation which contains a general truth. • the old aphorism ‘the child is father to the man’.
• [ mass noun]
the debate begins and ends at the level of aphorism, with commentators saying that something must be done.
2. a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by a classical author. • the opening sentence of the first aphorism of Hippocrates.
II. derivatives 1. aphorist noun
2. aphoristic /afəˈrɪstɪk / adjective
3. aphoristically /afəˈrɪstɪk(ə)li / adverb
4. aphorize aphorise verb
– origin early 16th cent.: from French aphorisme or late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos ‘definition’, from aphorizein ‘define’.