so·phis·ti·ca·tion | \sə-ˌfi-stə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of sophistication 

1a : the use of sophistry : sophistic reasoning

b : sophism, quibble

2 : the process or result of becoming cultured, knowledgeable, or disillusioned especially : cultivation, urbanity

3 : the process or result of becoming more complex, developed, or subtle

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of sophistication in a Sentence

the engine's sophistication requires that all repairs be done by an experienced mechanic

Recent Examples on the Web

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruban sophistication can be found at the adults-only Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. Mark Rogers, USA TODAY, "Honeymoon guide: Six appealing Aruba resorts for couples," 17 Apr. 2018 The streamlined silhouette oozed polished sophistication. Maria Ward, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Reinvents Girlboss Style With This Unexpected Accessory," 5 Apr. 2018 That higher level of sophistication limits Super Cruise to divided highways with on- and off-ramps. Robert Duffer,, "Cadillac Super Cruise semi-autonomous system plays it safe, smart," 29 Sep. 2017 Statistical sophistication can be the difference between winners and losers in professional football. Jack Martinez, Newsweek, "Students Say They Can Guess NFL Play Calling 75 Percent of the Time," 12 Aug. 2015 Yet their seeming lack of sophistication is probably what makes them so touching. Thomas Hine,, "Brandywine River Museum's new exhibit finds scary beauty in the realm of decay," 5 July 2018 Marziali not only carries on that tradition of sophistication, but that of her family, who owns Maglificio Tomas, a major knitwear factory. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Who Is On Next? Winners MRZ and MTF Maria Turri Are Redefining What Made in Italy Means," 2 July 2018 The city is a surprising blend of sophistication (with jazz clubs and summer opera festival) and small town charm. Necee Regis,, "Resort’s Tuscany cooking class has all the right ingredients," 2 July 2018 The other roving festivals of the time, from Lollapalooza to Lilith Fair, had an air of sophistication, but Warped was dirty, D.I.Y., and lacking air-conditioning and proper restrooms — and only three of the 21 headlining bands included women. Steve Knopper, New York Times, "‘It Was 11 Guys on a Bus, and Then Me’: Women on the Warped Tour," 21 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sophistication

Share sophistication

Statistics for sophistication

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sophistication

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sophistication


so·phis·ti·ca·tion | \sə-ˌfis-tə-ˈkā-shən \

Medical Definition of sophistication 

: the process or result of making impure or weak : adulteration sophistication of a drug

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sophistication

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


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!