so·​phis·​ti·​cate | \ sə-ˈfi-stə-ˌkāt How to pronounce sophisticate (audio) \
sophisticated; sophisticating

Definition of sophisticate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to alter deceptively especially : adulterate
2 : to deprive of genuineness, naturalness, or simplicity especially : to deprive of naïveté and make worldly-wise : disillusion
3 : to make complicated or complex


so·​phis·​ti·​cate | \ sə-ˈfi-sti-kət How to pronounce sophisticate (audio) , -stə-ˌkāt \

Definition of sophisticate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sophisticated person

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sophisticate

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of sophisticate in a Sentence

Verb there's no need to sophisticate something that is beautiful in its simplicity vanilla extract that has been sophisticated with corn syrup Noun sophisticates laughing at people they thought of as hicks
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Intensive care units have sophisticated equipment, such as bedside machines to monitor a patient’s heart rate and ventilators to help them breathe. USA TODAY, 20 Mar. 2020 Both sides, after all, rely on these tools, and there is an argument to be made that Democrats need them in order to close the gap with Mr. Trump’s sophisticated digital operation. Kevin Roose, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2020 The technology from [blockchain analytics] firms such as Elliptic and Chainanalysis is sophisticated as well. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, 5 Dec. 2019 In terms of hair, Turner opted to wear it down in loose waves with a middle part — simple, sweet, and sophisticated all at once. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, 5 July 2019 Purdue and the family’s sophisticated, multibillion-dollar investment operations have been under increasing scrutiny as lawsuits mount. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, 30 June 2019 As a younger woman in the ’50s and ’60s making films like Le Bonheur and La Pointe Courte, she was poised and sophisticated yet playful, wearing feather trim, layered necklaces, and graphic prints. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, 29 Mar. 2019 Which is to the benefit of anyone who values music at once sophisticated in content but accessible in musical gesture. Howard Reich,, 12 July 2018 But in fact, sophisticated, back-and-forth conversations are happening all around us. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, 20 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gomez was every inch the sophisticate during her appearance, pairing a black skirt and black cardigan with bright red lips. Elizabeth Loga, Glamour, 8 Sep. 2021 This palette is a true sophisticate, using colors once thought to be the prerogative of decorators. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 23 July 2021 Working from their studio in Saint Petersburg, their team of artisans cut, fold and stitch the finest of Italian textiles to craft sophisticate silhouettes that celebrate women. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 21 May 2021 Witherspoon plays Melanie Smooter, a woman from Alabama who’s become a New York sophisticate. Mary Colurso |, al, 14 Feb. 2021 But early on, the transplanted Frenchman was more showman than sophisticate. Sarah L. Kaufman, Washington Post, 5 May 2020 This exuberant magnum opus made a big splash when it was published in 1996 and became required reading for young, brainy sophisticates. Brandon Griggs, CNN, 10 May 2020 Amy Irving stars as Izzy, a downtown woman who’s moved uptown and fancies herself a sophisticate. New York Times, 13 Feb. 2020 On-road, the Compass is not an off-road warrior like the Wrangler, nor an urbane sophisticate like the Grand Cherokee. cleveland, 2 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of sophisticate


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1923, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sophisticate


Middle English, from Medieval Latin sophisticatus, past participle of sophisticare, from Latin sophisticus sophistic, from Greek sophistikos, from sophistēs sophist

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Time Traveler for sophisticate

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The first known use of sophisticate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sophisticate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for sophisticate



English Language Learners Definition of sophisticate

: a person who has a lot of knowledge about the world and about culture, art, literature, etc. : a sophisticated person


transitive verb
so·​phis·​ti·​cate | \ sə-ˈfis-tə-ˌkāt How to pronounce sophisticate (audio) \
sophisticated; sophisticating

Medical Definition of sophisticate

: to make impure : adulterate a sophisticated oil

More from Merriam-Webster on sophisticate

Britannica English: Translation of sophisticate for Arabic Speakers


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