adjective so·phis·ti·cat·ed \ sə-ˈfi-stə-ˌkā-təd \
|Updated on: 2 Aug 2018

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



Examples of sophisticated in a Sentence

  1. Puck's mix of casual and sophisticated elements has become the most prevalent style of L.A. dining today. —Harvey SteimanWine Spectator31 Mar. 2009
  2. 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.Time29 Sept. 2008
  3. "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 SweeneyNew York Times Real Estate MagazineSpring 2007
  4. 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 RussellMother JonesMarch & April 2006
  5. She was a sophisticated and well-traveled woman.

  6. a swank and sophisticated restaurant

  7. Her knitting technique is more sophisticated than mine.

Recent Examples of sophisticated from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of sophisticated

Medieval Latin sophisticatus

Synonym Discussion of 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

SOPHISTICATED Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of sophisticated for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


adjective so·phis·ti·cat·ed \ sə-ˈfi-stə-ˌkā-təd \

Definition of sophisticated for Students

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

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


having an air of easy unconcern

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!