[ sof-uh-stree ]
See synonyms for sophistry on
noun,plural soph·ist·ries.
  1. a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.

  2. a false argument; sophism.

Origin of sophistry

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English sophistrie, (from Middle French ), equivalent to sophistre “sophist” (see sophister) + -ie -y3, from Medieval Latin sophistria , from Latin sophista, sophistes; see origin at sophist

Other words from sophistry

  • an·ti·soph·ist·ry, noun

Words Nearby sophistry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sophistry in a sentence

  • In calmer moments his mind would doubtless have pierced the cheap sophistry of the Count, and discarded it.

    The Everlasting Arms | Joseph Hocking
  • They were polished men of society; not profound nor religious, but very brilliant as talkers, and very ready in wit and sophistry.

  • I have no sophistry to shift my reasons with; but the truth I trust I have, which needs no painted colours to set her forth.

  • That there is “sophistry,” on one side or other, is certain; but now it matters not on which.

    Mary Wollstonecraft | Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • It is but a mere contention—a bone, as the Persian proverb says, thrown to two dogs, a palpable piece of sophistry.

British Dictionary definitions for sophistry


/ (ˈsɒfɪstrɪ) /

nounplural -ries
    • a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading

    • the art of using such arguments

  1. subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning

  1. 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