[ sof-uh-mawr, -mohr; sof-mawr, -mohr ]
/ ˈsɒf əˌmɔr, -ˌmoʊr; ˈsɒf mɔr, -moʊr /


a student in the second year of high school or college.
a person or group in the second year of any endeavor: He's a sophomore on Wall Street.


of or relating to a sophomore.
of or being a second effort or second version: Their sophomore album was even better than their first.

Nearby words

  1. sophistries,
  2. sophistry,
  3. sophists,
  4. sophoclean,
  5. sophocles,
  6. sophomoric,
  7. sophonias,
  8. sophronia,
  9. sophrosyne,
  10. sophy

Origin of sophomore

1645–55; earlier sophumer, probably equivalent to sophum sophism + -er1

Related formspre·soph·o·more, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for sophomore


/ (ˈsɒfəˌmɔː) /


mainly US and Canadian a second-year student at a secondary (high) school or college


(of a book, recording, etc by an artist) secondher sophomore album

Word Origin for sophomore

C17: perhaps from earlier sophumer, from sophum, variant of sophism + -er 1

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 sophomore



1680s, "student in the second year of university study," literally "arguer," altered from sophumer (1650s, from sophume, archaic variant form of sophism), probably by influence of folk etymology derivation from Greek sophos "wise" + moros "foolish, dull." The original reference might be to the dialectic exercises that formed a large part of education in the middle years. At Oxford and Cambridge, a sophister (from sophist with spurious -er as in philosopher) was a second- or third-year student (what Americans would call a "junior" might be a senior sophister).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper