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maxim

[mak-sim] /ˈmæk sɪm/
noun
1.
an expression of a general truth or principle, especially an aphoristic or sententious one:
the maxims of La Rochefoucauld.
2.
a principle or rule of conduct.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English maximeMedieval Latin maxima (orig. in phrase maxima prōpositiō axiom, literally, greatest proposition), noun use of feminine of Latin maximus, superlative of magnus great; see much
Can be confused
Synonyms
1. aphorism, saying, adage, apothegm. See proverb.

Maxim

[mak-sim; for 4 also French mak-seem, Russian muh-ksyeem] /ˈmæk sɪm; for 4 also French makˈsim, Russian mʌˈksyim/
noun
1.
Hiram Percy, 1869–1936, U.S. inventor.
2.
his father, Sir Hiram Stevens, 1840–1916, English inventor, born in the U.S.: inventor of the Maxim gun.
3.
Hudson, 1853–1927, U.S. inventor and explosives expert (brother of Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim).
4.
a male given name, form of Maximilian.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for maxims
  • But from time to time he uttered cynical maxims about academic work and life that have turned out to be accurate.
  • Interior styling consistently follows the maxims of functionality.
  • But one of the bank's maxims is that it has to be a big fish in a business, or not in it at all.
  • These are all the maxims of good health and mental function at any age.
  • TCs have many maxims or sayings that remind staff members and residents about the goals for recovery.
  • He is well known for his conversational maxims, which attempt the describe the characteristics of polite conversation.
British Dictionary definitions for maxims

maxim

/ˈmæksɪm/
noun
1.
a brief expression of a general truth, principle, or rule of conduct
Word Origin
C15: via French from Medieval Latin, from maxima, in the phrase maxima prōpositio basic axiom (literally: greatest proposition); see maximum

Maxim

/ˈmæksɪm/
noun
1.
Sir Hiram Stevens. 1840–1916, British inventor of the first automatic machine gun (1884), born in the US
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 maxims

maxim

n.

"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).

Maxim

single-barreled water-cooled machine gun, 1885, named for inventor, U.S.-born British engineer Sir Hiram S. Maxim (1840-1916).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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