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

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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 He was entirely dedicated to his young grandchildren, introducing us to ever-more-sophisticated books and ideas, explaining geometry theorems, and pressing for detail and clarity on our school efforts. Indra Nooyi, Vogue, 28 Sep. 2021 Whereas a film shoot necessitates sophisticated and heavy equipment, not to mention the cooperation of many people, the collages require only solitude and a copy of the paper, a movable feast of broadsheet. New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 The interior design is by Achille Salvagni whose work manages to be both simple and sophisticated, characterized by graceful curves and organic shapes. Richard Alban, Robb Report, 10 Sep. 2021 Striking the perfect balance between rustic charm and modern convenience, Biniarroca offers beautiful gardens, sophisticated dining and two dreamy turquoise pools, as well as personal training and massages. Isabelle Kliger, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 Rugoff set standards that would change the future of film presentation eventually imitated by Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax and now Netflix to distinguish their product as sophisticated and key to the zeitgeist. Armond White, National Review, 25 Aug. 2021 The Bridgerton family was sophisticated, well-educated, moneyed and quite understated. Janet Kinosian, Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug. 2021 The rise of sophisti-casual dining There has been a major shift toward sophisticated casual dining as of late, as Japanese diners seek out more relaxed restaurant experiences that won’t break the bank. Melinda Joe, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 July 2021 The upholstered design is simple yet sophisticated, and it can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of decor styles, from farmhouse to modern. Summer Cartwright,, 22 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for sophisticated

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The first known use of sophisticated was in 1601

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Last Updated

5 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sophisticated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for sophisticated



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

More from Merriam-Webster on sophisticated

Nglish: Translation of sophisticated for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sophisticated for Arabic Speakers


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