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maxim
used in Moby Dick

3 uses
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Definition
a short saying that expresses a general truth or principle
  • For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle.
    Chapters 1-3 -- Loomings; The Carpet-Bag; The Spouter-Inn (18% in)
  • ...of a whaling voyage largely depends, and since in the American Fishery he is not only an important officer in the boat, but under certain circumstances (night watches on a whaling ground) the command of the ship's deck is also his; therefore the grand political maxim of the sea demands, that he should nominally live apart from the men before the mast, and be in some way distinguished as their professional superior; though always, by them, familiarly regarded as their social equal.
    Chapters 31-33 -- Queen Mab; Cetology; The Specksnyder (90% in)
  • Here be it known, that though these wild fishermen do not, as a general thing, and according to the great military maxim, make the enemy defray the current expenses of the war (at least before realizing the proceeds of the voyage), yet now and then you find some of these Nantucketers who have a genuine relish for that particular part of the Sperm Whale designated by Stubb; comprising the tapering extremity of the body.
    Chapters 64-66 -- Stubb's Supper; The Whale as a Dish; The Shark Massacre (15% in)

There are no more uses of "maxim" in Moby Dick.

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