ap·​o·​thegm | \ ˈa-pə-ˌthem How to pronounce apothegm (audio) \

Definition of apothegm

: a short, pithy, and instructive saying or formulation : aphorism

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Other Words from apothegm

apothegmatic \ ˌa-​pə-​theg-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce apothegmatic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of apothegm in a Sentence

her mother endlessly repeated the apothegm “cleanliness is next to godliness”
Recent Examples on the Web As with every Together Live speaker, each apothegm is met with exuberant applause. Zoë Ghertner, Vogue, "Reese Witherspoon: Activist, Advocate, Hollywood’s Moral Compass," 10 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apothegm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of apothegm

1548, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apothegm

borrowed from New Latin apothegma, apophthegma, borrowed from Greek apophthegmat-, apóphthegma, from apophtheg-, stem of apophthéngomai, apophthéngesthai "to speak one's opinion plainly, utter a pithy saying" (from apo- apo- + phthéngomai, phthéngesthai "to utter a sound, speak clearly," of obscure origin) + -mat-, -ma, resultative noun suffix

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Time Traveler for apothegm

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The first known use of apothegm was in 1548

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apothegm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apothegm. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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