All Words > Dictum

Monday, August 16

Dictum

[DIK-təm]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, late 16th century

1.

A short statement that expresses a general truth or principle.

Examples of Dictum in a sentence

"The famous medical dictum says, “First, do no harm.”"

"Stanley wanted to include a popular spiritual dictum in the introduction to his novel."

Popularity Over Time

Popularity over time graph

About Dictum

This stems from the Latin “dictum,” literally meaning “something said,” which is the neuter past participle of “dicere.”

Did you Know?

Not all dictums are necessarily rooted in truth; sometimes they’re just catchphrases that have been said with enough authority over time to gain popularity. For instance, “you are what you eat” is not a literal truth.

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