Ax"i*om (?), n. [L. axioma, Gr.
? that which is thought worthy, that which is assumed, a basis of
demonstration, a principle, fr. ? to think worthy, fr. ?
worthy, weighing as much as; cf. ? to lead, drive, also to weigh
so much: cf F. axiome. See Agent, a.]
1. (Logic & Math.) A self-evident and necessary
truth, or a proposition whose truth is so evident as first sight that no
reasoning or demonstration can make it plainer; a proposition which it is
necessary to take for granted; as, "The whole is greater than a part;" "A
thing can not, at the same time, be and not be."
2. An established principle in some art or science,
which, though not a necessary truth, is universally received; as, the
axioms of political economy.
Syn. -- Axiom, Maxim, Aphorism,
Adage. An axiom is a self-evident truth which is taken for
granted as the basis of reasoning. A maxim is a guiding principle
sanctioned by experience, and relating especially to the practical concerns
of life. An aphorism is a short sentence pithily expressing some
valuable and general truth or sentiment. An adage is a saying of
long-established authority and of universal application.