Word Origin & History
1520s (especially in ref. to the "Aphorisms of Hippocrates"), from M.Fr. aphorisme, from L.L. aphorismus, from Gk. aphorismos "definition, pithy sentence," from aphorizein "to mark off, divide," from apo- "from" + horizein "to bound." An aphorism is a short, pithy statement containing a truth of general
import; an axiom is a statement of self-evident truth; a theorem is a demonstrable proposition in science or mathematics; an epigram is like an aphorism, but lacking in general import. Maxim and saying can be used as synonyms for aphorism.