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

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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

The third trend is the increasing sophistication and declining cost of information and communication technology (ICT). David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 Seen knotted under Queen Elizabeth’s chin, wound around Jackie Onassis’s neck, and repurposed as a sling for Grace Kelly’s broken arm, its allure is derived from a certain uptown sophistication. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Hermès Carré Club, the Silk Scarf Becomes an Artist’s Canvas," 13 Sep. 2018 By leaning on square shapes and allowing other materials to show through, the material has a little more sophistication and individuality. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Your 2018 Sunglasses Shopping Guide," 28 Mar. 2018 Early shows were characterized by acts of physical exertion, but over a decade, that energy has translated into a sophistication that fills every record. Efrain Dorado, RedEye Chicago, "5 must-see concerts in Chicago this week: Arcade Fire, Ariel Pink, Hamilton Leithauser," 24 Oct. 2017 Soltero took over work on Cortana, one of the original digital assistants, at a time when rivals Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant arguably pulled way ahead in terms of product sophistication. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Goodbye, Cortana: Microsoft's Javier Soltero leaves, putting the digital assistant's future in doubt," 6 Nov. 2018 There can be a lot of sophistication with the things that are going on, so just to draw it on a card and show it to them in the huddle is not going to be good enough. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "UW’s Chris Petersen to coach his first game in the Rose Bowl stadium Saturday vs. UCLA," 1 Oct. 2018 Ralph Pucci has cultivated a stable of international designer stars whose sophistication and originality always dazzle. Wendy Goodman, The Cut, "12 Highlights From Design Week in New York," 24 May 2018 Shows some pass-rush sophistication and gets the most out of his plus natural power and athleticism but might fall to the third round because of his height. Terez A. Paylor, kansascity, "Who will the Chiefs draft? Here are some top edge rushers | The Kansas City Star," 24 Apr. 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.

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First Known Use of sophistication

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

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sophistication

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

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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

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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).


a knickknack or trinket

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