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gnomic Line breaks: gno¦mic
Pronunciation: /ˈnəʊmɪk/

Definition of gnomic in English:


1Expressed in or of the nature of short, pithy maxims or aphorisms: that most gnomic form, the aphorism
More example sentences
  • Sporting a permanently pained expression and the hunched demeanour of a child expecting a smack, he speaks in gnomic aphorisms that frequently sound like bumper-sticker mottoes.
  • Such writing inevitably takes the form of short fragmentary and often gnomic utterance.
  • DeLillo's characters have often talked in epigrams or gnomic utterances; now these have a future-shock fatalism about them.
1.1Difficult to understand because enigmatic or ambiguous: I had to have the gnomic response interpreted for me
More example sentences
  • By this time I knew her well enough to understand this gnomic, seemingly banal statement.
  • What is missing, he argues, is an acknowledgement of the history of delay, prevarication, demands for clarification, gnomic utterances, false trails, garden paths and double-speak by the republican leadership.
  • Even his private comments grew much more guarded as the work itself became increasingly gnomic and resistant to interpretation.


Early 19th century: from Greek gnōmikos (perhaps via French gnomique), from gnōmē 'thought, judgement', (plural) gnōmai 'sayings, maxims', related to gignōskein 'know'.



Example sentences
  • ‘True,’ Isaiah would gnomically reply, ‘but at a deeper level.’
  • On the centre's website, Hunter states gnomically: ‘If you accept that you should give a hungry man a fishing rod, not a fish, then confidence underpins his ability to use that fishing rod.’
  • ‘You'll simply never understand the true nature of sacrifice,’ Rowan's mum says gnomically to Howie.

Words that rhyme with gnomic

monochromic, ohmic, photochromic

Definition of gnomic in:

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