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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Fair, a cognitive neuroscientist, investigates brain functioning via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), sophisticated mathematical techniques and other methods. Howard Reich,, "21 MacArthur ‘Genius grant’ winners — including a neuroscientist, econometrician and historian — receive $625K each," 6 Oct. 2020 The golfers have too much sophisticated technology at their disposal for architects to play defense. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Athletes Are Conquering Distance. Sports Will Never Be the Same.," 2 Oct. 2020 Perhaps surprisingly for a game redolent of fraternity-house basements, foosball has a sophisticated and mysterious provenance. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "A Foosball Table That Elevates the Level of Play," 2 Oct. 2020 As for makeup, Drini Marie gave Orji a red lip that matched her gorgeous gown, and kept the rest of the look sophisticated and simple with black liner, lush lashes, and radiant skin. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Yvonne Orji Shaved the Black Power Fist Into Her Hair for the 2020 Emmys," 21 Sep. 2020 The Apex Pro certainly stands out with its OLED lighting and sophisticated design, and the value isn’t merely skin-deep. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Programmer Figured Out How to Play Doom on a Pregnancy Test," 11 Sep. 2020 Those words were: natural, modern, collected, chic, sophisticated, approachable. John-john Williams Iv,, "Designer Stephanie Bradshaw’s stunning new Baltimore County home combines the outdoors with contemporary opulence," 10 Sep. 2020 Each book points to the increasingly sophisticated technology that enables more accurate predictions of not only the onset but also the path of monster storms as a reason for some hope. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Storm warning: The impact of hurricanes is on the rise," 8 Sep. 2020 The pale pastel shades of Behr's Subtle Focus theme set a playful yet sophisticated tone. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Behr's 2021 Color Palette Has All the Tranquil Shades You Need for a Peaceful Year," 2 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of sophisticated

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sophisticated

Medieval Latin sophisticatus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sophisticated

Time Traveler for sophisticated

Time Traveler

The first known use of sophisticated was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sophisticated

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sophisticated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sophisticated


How to pronounce sophisticated (audio)

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


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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sophisticated

What made you want to look up sophisticated? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!