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sophistry

[sof-uh-stree] /ˈsɒf ə stri/
noun, plural sophistries.
1.
a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.
2.
a false argument; sophism.
Origin of sophistry
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English sophistrie < Middle French, equivalent to sophistre sophister + -ie -y3
Related forms
antisophistry, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sophistry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.

  • The reasoning may be plausible, but it is no better than sophistry.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • There is the sophistry of law, the sophistry of medicine, the sophistry of politics, the sophistry of theology.

    Gorgias Plato
  • The sophistry of human nature is far more subtle than the deceit of any one man.

    Gorgias Plato
  • Also there is a touch of irony in them, which takes them out of the category of sophistry.

    Apology Plato
  • Still, Greta's nervousness increased; no reason, no sophistry could allay it.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • For a moment he was at a loss; then he had recourse to sophistry.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • The sophistry of thinking him 'no worse than his set' will serve no longer.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for sophistry

sophistry

/ˈsɒfɪstrɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
  1. a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
  2. the art of using such arguments
2.
subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning
3.
an instance of this; sophism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sophistry
n.

"specious but fallacious reasoning," mid-14c., from Old French sophistrie (Modern French sophisterie), from Medieval Latin sophistria, from Latin sophista, sophistes (see sophist). "Sophistry applies to reasoning as sophism to a single argument" [Century Dictionary].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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