axiomatic

adjective

ax·​i·​om·​at·​ic ˌak-sē-ə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce axiomatic (audio)
1
: taken for granted : self-evident
an axiomatic truth
2
: based on or involving an axiom or system of axioms
axiomatic set theory
axiomatically adverb

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An axiom is a principle widely accepted for its intrinsic merit, or one regarded as self-evidently true. A statement that is axiomatic, therefore, is one against which few people would argue. Axiomatic entered English from the New Latin word axiōmaticus, and like axiom, it comes ultimately from the Greek word axíōma, meaning (among other things) “that which is reasonable (though not demonstrated to be true).” The word axiom can also refer to a statement accepted as true specifically as the basis for an argument or inference. An example would be: “Nothing can both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.” Such axioms are often employed in philosophy, as well as in mathematics and geometry, where they are sometimes called postulates.

Examples of axiomatic in a Sentence

It is axiomatic that good athletes have a strong mental attitude. it's axiomatic that the instinct for self-preservation is universal throughout the animal kingdom
Recent Examples on the Web The agent—working-class, approaching thirty, and reeling under a couple of loans himself—quickly learns an axiomatic truth: no writer ever holds on to their advance. Hazlitt, 12 July 2023 Now deeply embedded, this model is an axiomatic assumption. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, 21 Apr. 2023 The reason, as always, seemed axiomatic: Ocean was performing because that’s what performers do. Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2023 Indeed, this idea is almost axiomatic. Savala Trepczynski, Time, 1 June 2020 Most remarkably, while biomechanics employs the laws of physics, and biochemistry is founded on the quantitative science of chemistry, evolutionary genetics is based on axiomatic foundations that are entirely biological, and yet are capable of precise mathematical formulation. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2010 It’s been axiomatic for a long time to view the collective trauma and madness of the First World War as faithfully reflected in the broken consciousness and fragmentary compulsions of the first generation of literary modernists. Thomas Meaney, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Feb. 2023 But the brazen question remained, presenting it as axiomatic that the journalists doxxed his exact location when none of them did. WIRED, 19 Jan. 2023 These black and white photos harken back to a period in time in which vaccines were almost uniformly viewed as an axiomatic good, a lifesaving elixir that millions of people clamored for access to. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 15 May 2013 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'axiomatic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin axiōmaticus, from Latin axiōmat-, axiōma "fundamental proposition, axiom" + -icus -ic entry 1

Note: Compare Hellenistic Greek axiōmatikós "of a dignified kind, stately, noble," from axíōma "honored status, prestige."

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of axiomatic was in 1785

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Cite this Entry

“Axiomatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/axiomatic. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

axiomatic

adjective
ax·​i·​om·​at·​ic ˈak-sē-ə-ˈmat-ik How to pronounce axiomatic (audio)
1
: of or relating to an axiom
2
: resembling an axiom
axiomatically adverb

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