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a short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark or aphorism.
Historical Examples

As some say, Solon was the author of the apophthegm, “Nothing in excess.”
Familiar Quotations John Bartlett

This apophthegm is one of the landmarks of religious history.
The Expositor’s Bible: The Epistle to the Galatians G. G. Findlay

The lump of earth, being taken somewhat by surprise, was not prepared with an apophthegm, and said nothing.
Cobwebs From an Empty Skull Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)

He has inspired me with an apophthegm, however—let us give Bonvoisin his due!
To Tell You the Truth Leonard Merrick

Madame de Staël repeats this apophthegm in her work on Germany.
Rejected Addresses James Smith

He re-read the apophthegm with a slower and more solemn utterance.
Crome Yellow Aldous Huxley

He delivered this apophthegm with emphasis, and repeated it in another form.
New Grub Street George Gissing

I was still pondering over this apophthegm, when Crofton aroused me by pushing across the table a great heap of gold.
A Day’s Ride Charles James Lever

I should prefer to reverse the apophthegm, and to say that in life I see the promise and potency of all forms of matter.
Mysterious Psychic Forces Camille Flammarion

They did not dream of the apophthegm that knowledge is power; and that we become strong by subduing nature to our will.
Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) John Henry Newman

a short cryptic remark containing some general or generally accepted truth; maxim
a variant spelling of apophthegm

see apothegm.

“pithy saying,” 1550s, from Greek apophthegma “terse, pointed saying,” literally “something clearly spoken,” from apophthengesthai “to speak one’s opinion plainly,” from apo- “from” (see apo-) + phthengesthai “to utter.” See aphorism for nuances of usage. Spelling apophthegm, restored by Johnson, is preferred in England, according to OED.


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