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Expressed in or of the nature of short, pithy maxims or aphorisms. Recorded from the early 19th century (gnomical in the same sense dates from the early 16th century), the word comes from Greek gnōmikos, ultimately formed as English gnome (late 16th century), ‘thought, judgement, opinion’, from Greek gnōme in same sense, from gnōmai ‘sayings, maxims’, from the base of gignōskein ‘know’.

Subjects: Literature.

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