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"precept, principle," early 15c., from Middle French maxime, from Late Latin maxima, shortened from phrases such as maxima propositio, maxima sententarium "axiom," literally "greatest premise, greatest among propositions" (one which is general and absolute), from fem. of maximus "greatest" (see maximum).
single-barreled water-cooled machine gun, 1885, named for inventor, U.S.-born British engineer Sir Hiram S. Maxim (1840-1916).