sophisticated

adjective
so·​phis·​ti·​cat·​ed | \ sə-ˈfi-stə-ˌkā-təd How to pronounce sophisticated (audio) \

Definition of sophisticated

1 : deprived of native or original simplicity: such as
a : highly complicated or developed : complex sophisticated electronic devices
b : having a refined knowledge of the ways of the world cultivated especially through wide experience a sophisticated lady
2 : devoid of grossness: such as
a : finely experienced and aware a sophisticated columnist
b : intellectually appealing a sophisticated novel

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Other Words from sophisticated

sophisticatedly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for sophisticated

sophisticated, worldly-wise, blasé mean experienced in the ways of the world. sophisticated often implies refinement, urbanity, cleverness, and cultivation. guests at her salon were usually rich and sophisticated worldly-wise suggests a close and practical knowledge of the affairs and manners of society and an inclination toward materialism. a worldly-wise woman with a philosophy of personal independence blasé implies a lack of responsiveness to common joys as a result of a real or affected surfeit of experience and cultivation. blasé travelers who claimed to have been everywhere

Did You Know?

A sophisticated argument is thorough and well-worked-out. A satellite is a sophisticated piece of technology, complex and designed to accomplish difficult tasks. A sophisticated person, such as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, knows how to get around in the world. But sophistication isn't always admired. As you might guess, the word is closely related to sophistry (see above), and its original meanings weren't very positive, and still today many of us aren't sure we really like sophisticates.

Examples of sophisticated in a Sentence

Puck's mix of casual and sophisticated elements has become the most prevalent style of L.A. dining today. — Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 31 Mar. 2009 Sophisticated investors took Moody's and S&P's word for it, and it turned out that the agencies didn't know what they were doing. — Andy Serwer et al., Time, 29 Sept. 2008 "These students want the amenities they grew up with at home—their own rooms, their own baths, along with some of the finer things in life. They're a more sophisticated consumer." — Camille Sweeney, New York Times Real Estate Magazine, Spring 2007 Sonar devices can locate an enemy's sophisticated, almost-silent diesel submarines by, ironically, making a deafening noise—sometimes above 230 decibels, as loud as a Saturn V rocket blasting off. — Dick Russell, Mother Jones, March & April 2006 She was a sophisticated and well-traveled woman. a swank and sophisticated restaurant Her knitting technique is more sophisticated than mine.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Olsen's clean, neutral, sophisticated-yet-totally-accessible makeup looks pair well with Bobbi Brown's aesthetic. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "Elizabeth Olsen Shares Her Favorite Foundation Trick for a Dewy-Looking Glow," 27 Mar. 2019 The benefits of such increasingly sophisticated remote monitoring are substantial in terms of efficiency. The Atlantic, "The Icelandic Families Tracking Climate Change With Measuring Tape," 6 June 2018 The benefits of such increasingly sophisticated remote monitoring are substantial in terms efficiency. Gloria Dickie, WIRED, "Humans Tracked Iceland's Glaciers For Ages. Now, Tech Does," 5 June 2018 Still, the fact that al-Shabaab was able to launch such a sophisticated attack—which required careful coordination and large amounts of ammunition—shocked many Kenyans and international observers. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Questions Mount as Kenyan Hotel Siege Ends," 16 Jan. 2019 Neither adage proves nor disproves the claims of a highly sophisticated supply-chain attack infiltrating the world’s most powerful organizations. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bloomberg report says backdoored Supermicro hardware infiltrated major US telecom," 9 Oct. 2018 The line is sophisticated, but has a uncontrived spirit that plays on masculine, feminine, and historical references. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Miu Miu's Fall '19 Show Is Almost Here, and You Can Stream It Live," 5 Mar. 2019 This movie, from director Cameron Crowe (and produced by James L. Brooks) is far too sophisticated for such a middling finale. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Russia’s military has not integrated unmanned combat aircraft into its inventory to the same extent that the U.S. has, and Russia’s drone industry is thought to be less sophisticated than those in the West. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Russia’s First Autonomous Strike Drone," 25 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sophisticated.' 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 sophisticated

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sophisticated

Medieval Latin sophisticatus

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Statistics for sophisticated

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sophisticated

The first known use of sophisticated was in 1601

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More Definitions for sophisticated

sophisticated

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sophisticated

: having or showing a lot of experience and knowledge about the world and about culture, art, literature, etc.
: attractive to fashionable or sophisticated people
: highly developed and complex

sophisticated

adjective
so·​phis·​ti·​cat·​ed | \ sə-ˈfi-stə-ˌkā-təd How to pronounce sophisticated (audio) \

Kids Definition of sophisticated

1 : very complicated sophisticated electronic devices
2 : having a lot of knowledge about the world especially through experience
3 : appealing to a person's intelligence a sophisticated novel

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Comments on sophisticated

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