maxim

A maxim is a succinct formulation of a principle, rule, or basic truth about life. Usually clever, maxims are like great sayings everybody knows. Ben Franklin is the author of many, including "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

A maxim sums up a fundamental principle or truth about something in a way that captures the imagination and gets repeated. Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor of Vogue magazine, once said, "Pink is the navy blue of India." May not be true, but it was such a great line it has become a maxim of fashion and even of India. An overused maxim of real estate is "Location, location, location." Confucius was spewing maxims long before Vogue hit the magazine stands: "He who learns but does not think is lost."

DEFINITIONS OF: maxim

1

n a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits

Synonyms:
axiom
Types:
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aphorism, apophthegm, apothegm
a short pithy instructive saying
gnome
a short pithy saying expressing a general truth
moralism
a moral maxim
Murphy's Law, Sod's Law
humorous axiom stating that anything that can go wrong will go wrong
Type of:
expression, locution, saying
a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
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