apothegm
Definition - The saying of an important truth in a few memorable words.

Example -
Johnson suddenly uttered … an apophthegm, at which many will start: ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.'
(from Boswell's Life of Johnson (1816) II. 360)

Etymology -
The word derives from the Greek apophthegma, terse or pointed saying (literally: something clearly spoken).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1553–87:
"Another Apothegma of D. Taylor."
( Foxe A. & M. III. 145, marginal note)



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