<logic> A well-formed formula which is taken to be true without proof in the construction of a theory.

Compare: lemma.

(01 Mar 1995)

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1. <logic> 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.

Synonyms: 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.

Origin: 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.

(01 Mar 1998)