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Short expressions to express one's ideas forcefully

Proverbs, dictums, maxims, adages, aphorisms, mottos, slogans

Here are some definitions for all these words which look alike, with examples each time linked to peace !



A short phrase, by an anonymous author, which expresses an accepted truth or wise advice. Synonyms: dictum, maxim, adage.

“If you do not love peace, you cannot fight war.” (Magyar proverb)


A short phrase, by an anonymous author, which expresses an accepted truth or common sense advice and has become a proverb in a particular region.

“Live in peace, sleep in peace” “After war comes peace”


A short phrase, by an anonymous author, expressing an accepted truth or a moral (or legal) rule. (In old usage, synonym of proverb or dictum).

“Ill-gotten gains are of no value”
“To each according to his merit”
“Fortune favours fools”


A short phrase, attributed to a writer or individual, which lays down a rule of personal moral conduct or a generally accepted moral truth.

“I will not find peace by running away from conflict” (blogger)
“Happiness does not arise from peace, happiness is peace itself.” (Alain, French philosopher).


A short phrase, attributed to a writer, which sums up a principle full of meaning, the heart of an idea, or a wider concept. It can also be a word or statement used in a unique way. These phrases often express fun, humour, pleasure or pain, indignation or admiration.

“If you want peace, prepare for peace.” (various peace organisations)
“Money is the sinews of peace” (Grains of Peace)
“Success is measured by external happiness. Progress is measured by inner peace.” (Sri Chinmoy)

Aphorisms differ from proverbs and maxims in sometimes including a paradoxical comparison :

“I looked for my heaviest burden – I found myself.” (Nietzsche).


- A very short phrase which expresses one’s ideals or way of thinking, feeling or acting.
- A symbol chosen by a group, government, State, etc.

“All for one and one for all” (Motto of the Three Musketeers)
“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” (Motto of France)
“Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity and Prosperity” (Motto of Laos)
“Peace, Work, Fatherland” (Motto of Cameroon)
“Long live work and peace!” (Motto of Costa Rica)
“Love and Peace” (Personal motto)
“Diversity” (Personal motto)


A short, expressive phrase, which is easy to remember and is used to promote an idea (in furthering a cause), a political opinion (in propaganda) or purchases (in advertising).

“Make love, not war” (Hippie slogan)
“Peace is in our hands” (Slogan of UNESCO’s International Year for the Culture of Peace)
“Awaking peace reflexes” (Grains of Peace slogan)