sci·​o·​lism | \ ˈsī-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sciolism (audio) \

Definition of sciolism

: a superficial show of learning

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Other Words from sciolism

sciolist \ ˈsī-​ə-​list How to pronounce sciolism (audio) \ noun
sciolistic \ ˌsī-​ə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce sciolism (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

Sciolism comes from the Late Latin sciolus, which means "smatterer" (or "one who speaks with spotty or superficial knowledge"). "Sciolus" comes from the diminutive of Latin scius, meaning "knowing," which itself comes from the verb scire, meaning "to know." Of course, if you know something about Latin roots, you know that "scire" is the source of many other English words, including "science," "prescience" ("foreknowledge"), "nescience" ("lack of knowledge"), and "conscience."

First Known Use of sciolism

1816, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sciolism

Late Latin sciolus "smatterer, pretender to knowledge" (Latin scius "possessing knowledge, expert," derivative of scīre "to know" —perhaps as back-formation from nescius "ignorant"— + -olus, diminutive suffix, here with depreciative value) + -ism — more at science

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The first known use of sciolism was in 1816

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Cite this Entry

“Sciolism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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