(of a person, ideas, tastes, manners, etc.) altered by education, experience, etc., so as to be worldly-wise; not naive: a sophisticated young socialite; the sophisticated eye of an experienced journalist.
pleasing or satisfactory to the tastes of sophisticates, or people who are educated, cultured, and worldly-wise: sophisticated music.
deceptive; misleading.
complex or intricate, as a system, process, piece of machinery, or the like: a sophisticated electronic control system.
of, for, or reflecting educated taste, knowledgeable use, etc.: Many Americans are drinking more sophisticated wines now.

Origin of sophisticated

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin sophisticāt(us) sophisticate + -ed2
Related formsso·phis·ti·cat·ed·ly, adverbhy·per·so·phis·ti·cat·ed, adjectivehy·per·so·phis·ti·cat·ed·ly, adverbo·ver·so·phis·ti·cat·ed, adjectivesu·per·so·phis·ti·cat·ed, adjectiveul·tra·so·phis·ti·cat·ed, adjectiveul·tra·so·phis·ti·cat·ed·ly, adverb

Synonyms for sophisticated

Antonyms for sophisticated

1. naive.


[noun, adjective suh-fis-ti-kit, -keyt; verb suh-fis-ti-keyt]


a sophisticated person.



verb (used with object), so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing.

to make less natural, simple, or ingenuous; make worldly-wise.
to alter; pervert: to sophisticate a meaning beyond recognition.

verb (used without object), so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing.

to use sophistry; quibble.

Origin of sophisticate

1350–1400; Middle English (adj. and v.) < Medieval Latin sophisticātus (past participle of sophisticāre to tamper with, disguise, trick with words), equivalent to Latin sophistic(us) (see sophistic) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsout·so·phis·ti·cate, verb (used with object), out·so·phis·ti·cat·ed, out·so·phis·ti·cat·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sophisticated

Contemporary Examples of sophisticated

Historical Examples of sophisticated

  • There speaks the sophisticated and conscious literary technician!

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • The sophisticated African has ceased to be surprised at anything a white man may do.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • But it is a vain enterprise for sophisticated Europe to try and understand these doings.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • "Time has nothing to do with love," said the sophisticated Sara.

    Glory of Youth

    Temple Bailey

  • Crowley was right—she could not meet his sophisticated gaze.

British Dictionary definitions for sophisticated



having refined or cultured tastes and habits
appealing to sophisticatesa sophisticated restaurant
unduly refined or cultured
pretentiously or superficially wise
(of machines, methods, etc) complex and refined
Derived Formssophisticatedly, adverb


verb (səˈfɪstɪˌkeɪt)

(tr) to make (someone) less natural or innocent, as by education
to pervert or corrupt (an argument, etc) by sophistry
(tr) to make more complex or refined
rare to falsify (a text, etc) by alterations

noun (səˈfɪstɪˌkeɪt, -kɪt)

a sophisticated person
Derived Formssophistication, nounsophisticator, noun

Word Origin for sophisticate

C14: from Medieval Latin sophisticāre, from Latin sophisticus sophistic
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 sophisticated

c.1600, "mixed with a foreign substance, impure; no longer simple or natural," past participle adjective from sophisticate (v.). Of persons, with a positive sense, "worldly-wise, discriminating, cultured," from 1895.



c.1400, "make impure by admixture," from Medieval Latin sophisticatus, past participle of sophisticare (see sophistication). From c.1600 as "corrupt, delude by sophistry;" from 1796 as "deprive of simplicity." Related: Sophisticated; sophisticating. As a noun meaning "sophisticated person" from 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper