gnomic

play
adjective gno·mic \ ˈnō-mik \

Definition of gnomic

1 :characterized by aphorism
  • gnomic utterances
2 :given to the composition of gnomic writing
  • a gnomic poet

gnomic was our Word of the Day on 03/07/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of gnomic in a Sentence

  1. He made gnomic utterances concerning death.

Recent Examples of gnomic from the Web

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

Did You Know?

A gnome is an aphorism-that is, an observation or sentiment reduced to the form of a saying. Gnomes are sometimes couched in metaphorical or figurative language, they are often quite clever, and they are always concise. We borrowed the word gnome in the 16th century from the Greeks, who based their gnome on the verb gignōskein, meaning "to know." (That other gnome-the dwarf of folklore-comes from New Latin and is unrelated to "aphorism" meaning.) We began using gnomic, the adjective form of gnome, in the early 19th century. It describes a style of writing (or sometimes speech) characterized by pithy phrases, which are often terse to the point of mysteriousness.

First Known Use of gnomic

1815


GNOMIC Defined for English Language Learners

gnomic

play
adjective

Definition of gnomic for English Language Learners

  • : said or written using few words that are difficult to understand


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