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From French gnomique, ultimately from Ancient Greek γνωμικός (gnōmikós), from γνώμη (gnṓmē, thought, judgement), akin to γιγνώσκω (gignṓskō, know).


gnomic (comparative more gnomic, superlative most gnomic)

  1. Of, or relating to gnomes (sententious sayings).
    • G. R. Lewes
      a city long famous as the seat of elegiac and gnomic poetry
    • 2013, Adam Roberts, The Riddles of The Hobbit, Palgrave Macmillan (→ISBN), page 17:
      Old English culture was threaded through with riddles, cryptograms, gnomic verses, charms and riddling modes of speech such as litotes, just as Modern English culture is (if you will forgive me) riddled with jokes and catch-phrases, crosswords and quizzes, irony and sarcasm.
  2. (of a saying or aphorism) Mysterious and often incomprehensible yet seemingly wise.
    He always makes gnomic utterances.
    • 2017 April 24, Paul Vitello, “Robert M. Pirsig, Author of ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,’ Dies at 88”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      In his part gnomic, part mechanic’s style, Mr. Pirsig’s narrator declares that the real world is a seamless continuum of the material and metaphysical.
  3. (grammar) Expressing general truths or aphorisms.
    gnomic aspect

Related terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]




From French gnomique


gnomic m or n (feminine singular gnomică, masculine plural gnomici, feminine and neuter plural gnomice)

  1. gnomic