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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

Contemporary Examples of sophistry

Historical Examples of sophistry

  • 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.


    William Godwin

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



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



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



British Dictionary definitions for sophistry


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