aphorism
Definition - A short, pithy sentence that states a general truth.

Example -
It is better to be a live dog than a dead lion. (Lassie)

Etymology -
The word derives via Middle French and Late Latin from the Greek aphorismos, definition or pithy sentence (from apo, from + horizein, to bound).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in this sense is from circa 1590:
"Is not thy common talk sound aphorisms?"
(Marlowe, Faustus, i. 19)



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