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[ak-see-uh m] /ˈæk si əm/
a self-evident truth that requires no proof.
a universally accepted principle or rule.
Logic, Mathematics. a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it.
1475-85; < Latin axiōma < Greek: something worthy, equivalent to axiō-, variant stem of axioûn to reckon worthy + -ma resultative noun suffix
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for axiom
  • If we omit this last axiom, the remaining axioms give either Euclidean or hyperbolic geometry.
  • Forget the old axiom it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
  • It used to be an axiom that solar power grew steadily cheaper as time passed.
  • Another axiom of science is dispassionate observation.
  • There's a new axiom emerging in community colleges: Anyone can teach history.
  • There is an axiom that war is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of terror.
  • Central to "being French" is the republican axiom that all citizens are free and equal.
  • From this axiom comes a host of surprising implications - the new rules for the new advertising economy.
  • This chain puts the lie to the axiom that self-service fast food is tasteless.
  • It is a trivia of logic that by adding a new axiom one cannot retract what has been deduced without the new axiom.
British Dictionary definitions for axiom


a generally accepted proposition or principle, sanctioned by experience; maxim
a universally established principle or law that is not a necessary truth: the axioms of politics
a self-evident statement
(logic, maths) a statement or formula that is stipulated to be true for the purpose of a chain of reasoning: the foundation of a formal deductive system Compare assumption (sense 4)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin axiōma a principle, from Greek, from axioun to consider worthy, from axios worthy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for axiom

late 15c., from Middle French axiome, from Latin axioma, from Greek axioma "authority," literally "that which is thought worthy or fit," from axioun "to think worthy," from axios "worthy, worth, of like value, weighing as much," from PIE adjective *ag-ty-o- "weighty," from root *ag- "to drive, draw, move" (see act (n.)).

Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses. [Keats, letter, May 3, 1818]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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axiom in Science
A principle that is accepted as true without proof. The statement "For every two points P and Q there is a unique line that contains both P and Q" is an axiom because no other information is given about points or lines, and therefore it cannot be proven. Also called postulate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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axiom in Culture
axiom [(ak-see-uhm)]

In mathematics, a statement that is unproved but accepted as a basis for other statements, usually because it seems so obvious.

Note: The term axiomatic is used generally to refer to a statement so obvious that it needs no proof.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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axiom in Technology

A commercially available subset of the Scratchpad, symbolic mathematics system from IBM.
["Axiom - The Scientific Computing System", R. Jenks et al, Springer 1992].
[Relationship with AXIOM*?]

A well-formed formula which is taken to be true without proof in the construction of a theory.
Compare: lemma.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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