[ sof-iz-uh m ]
/ ˈsɒf ɪz əm /


a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone.
any false argument; fallacy.

Nearby words

  1. sophar,
  2. sopher,
  3. sophi,
  4. sophia,
  5. sophie,
  6. sophist,
  7. sophister,
  8. sophistic,
  9. sophisticate,
  10. sophisticated

Origin of sophism

1300–50; < Latin sophisma sophistry < Greek sóphisma orig., acquired skill, method, derivative of sophízesthai to act the sophist, become wise; replacing earlier sophim, Middle English < Middle French sophime < Latin

Related formsan·ti·soph·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sophism

British Dictionary definitions for sophism


/ (ˈsɒfɪzəm) /


an instance of sophistryCompare paralogism

Word Origin for sophism

C14: from Latin sophisma, from Greek: ingenious trick, from sophizesthai to use clever deceit, from sophos wise, clever

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

Word Origin and History for sophism



early 15c., earlier sophime (mid-14c.), "specious but fallacious argument devised for purposes of deceit or to exercise one's ingenuity," from Old French sophime "a fallacy, false argument" (Modern French sophisme), from Latin sophisma, from Greek sophisma "clever device, skillful act, stage-trick," from stem of sophizesthai "become wise" (see sophist).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper