Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of aphorism?

The definition of aphorism is a concise and poignant saying that conveys a statement of truth.

Aphorism

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Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 81

Aphorism - a brief, pithy, usually concise statement or observation of a doctrine, principle, truth, or sentiment.

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The word comes from the Greek aphorizein, which means “to mark off by boundaries” and was formed by combining apo, meaning “from,” and horos, meaning “a limit.” The term was first used by Hippocrates.

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An example of an aphorism is Benjamin Franklin’s

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Latest answer posted August 28, 2011, 10:55 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers
Early to bed
and early to rise,
makes a man
healthy, wealthy, and wise.

see: epigram, proverb


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