[ sof-uh-stree ]
/ ˈsɒf ə stri /

noun, plural soph·ist·ries.

a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.
a false argument; sophism.

Nearby words

  1. sophistic,
  2. sophisticate,
  3. sophisticated,
  4. sophistication,
  5. sophistries,
  6. sophists,
  7. sophoclean,
  8. sophocles,
  9. sophomore,
  10. sophomoric

Origin of sophistry

1300–50; Middle English sophistrie < Middle French, equivalent to sophistre sophister + -ie -y3

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

Examples from the Web for sophistry

British Dictionary definitions for sophistry


/ (ˈsɒfɪstrɪ) /

noun plural -ries

  1. a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
  2. the art of using such arguments
subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning
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

Word Origin and History for sophistry



"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