soph·​ist | \ ˈsä-fist How to pronounce sophist (audio) \

Definition of sophist

2 capitalized : any of a class of ancient Greek teachers of rhetoric, philosophy, and the art of successful living prominent about the middle of the fifth century b.c. for their adroit subtle and allegedly often specious reasoning
3 : a captious or fallacious reasoner

Examples of sophist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Plato’s most famous dialogue, the Republic, Socrates falls into conversation with the bold and intimidating Thrasymachus, who is a sophist—that is, one who offers instructions on how to argue a case, no matter its merit. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2018 Not even the most shameless sophist will argue that anything like that happened. Hugh Hewitt, The Denver Post, 10 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sophist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sophist

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sophist

Latin sophista, from Greek sophistēs, literally, expert, wise man, from sophizesthai to become wise, deceive, from sophos clever, wise

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The first known use of sophist was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sophist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on sophist

Britannica English: Translation of sophist for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sophist


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