sophistry was our Word of the Day on 08/26/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of sophistry from the Web
The actress’s first professional gig was in the Off Broadway play Sophistry, with Ethan Hawke.
This ruling is pure sophistry that defies common sense.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sophistry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
sophistry Has Roots in Greek Philosophy
The original Sophists were ancient Greek teachers of rhetoric and philosophy prominent in the 5th century B.C. In their heyday, these philosophers were considered adroit in their reasoning, but later philosophers (particularly Plato) described them as sham philosophers, out for money and willing to say anything to win an argument. Thus sophist (which comes from Greek sophistēs, meaning "wise man" or "expert") earned a negative connotation as "a captious or fallacious reasoner." Sophistry is reasoning that seems plausible on a superficial level but is actually unsound, or reasoning that is used to deceive.
First Known Use of sophistry
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