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definition of the word maxim

by the Wiktionnary

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Maxim (saying)


From Middle English, from Middle French maxime, from Late Latin maxima (axiom), shortening of maxima + propositio, literally, "greatest premise"



maxim (plural maxims)

  1. a precept; a succinct statement or observation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct
    • 1776, Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, page 768
      In every age and country of the world men must have attended to the characters, designs, and actions of one another, and many reputable rules and maxims for the conduct of human life, must have been laid down and approved of by common consent.

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