9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Origin of axiom
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 axioms
  • One of the oft-repeated axioms in baseball is that when the season starts, pitchers generally have the upper hand against hitters.
  • So here's a related big-picture question with a few axioms.
  • It begins with axioms, or accepted truths, and employs a series of logical statements to arrive at a conclusion.
  • We can formulate axioms about information and interconnection, but in the end these are nothing more than idle speculation.
  • Mathematics deals with axioms and algorithms, it is self contained.
  • Note that axioms had to be removed as well as added.
  • Math is a system of postulates and axioms based on a logical relationship that is then quantified.
  • Thus proving once again one of the eternal axioms of action movies: total global annihilation makes for strange bedfellows.
  • Adding such statements to the system as further axioms does no good.
  • Those who reject the axioms of ordinary science have no way to construct a rational body of knowledge about the world.
British Dictionary definitions for axioms


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 axioms



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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axioms 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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axioms 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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