“Maxim (noun): A summary universal truth, fundamental principle, or rule of conduct; proverbial or sententious saying.
‘I guess I was seven when I first heard the maxim that only people with a small vocabulary use ‘dirty’ words. I am forty-seven and have just received a communication from a reader delivering this maxim as though he invented it. William F. Buckley, Jr., Execution Eve'”
Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.