# Definition:Axiom/Also known as

## Definition

An axiom is also known as a postulate.

Among ancient Greek philosophers, the term axiom was used for a general truth that was common to everybody (see Euclid's "common notions"), while postulate had a specific application to the subject under discussion.

For most authors, the distinction is no longer used, and the terms are generally used interchangeably. This is the position of $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$.

However, some believe there is a difference significant enough to matter:

... we shall use "postulate" instead of "axiom" hereafter, as "axiom" has a pernicious historical association of "self-evident, necessary truth", which "postulate" does not have; a postulate is an arbitrary assumption laid down by the mathematician himself and not by God Almighty.
-- 1937: Eric Temple Bell: Men of Mathematics: Chapter $\text{II}$: Modern Minds in Ancient Bodies