Aph"o*rism (#), n. [F. aphorisme, fr. Gr. definition, a short, pithy sentence, fr. to mark off by boundaries, to define; from + to separate, part. See Horizon.]
A comprehensive maxim or principle expressed in a few words; a sharply defined sentence relating to abstract truth rather than to practical matters.
The first aphorism of Hippocrates is, "Life is short, and the art is long."
Syn. -- Axiom; maxim; adage; proverb; apothegm; saying; saw; truism; dictum. See Axiom.
© Webster 1913.