sophomoric

adjective

soph·​o·​mor·​ic ˌsäf-ˈmȯr-ik How to pronounce sophomoric (audio)
-ˈmär-,
 also  ˌsȯf-,
 or  ˌsä-fə-,
 or  ˌsȯ-fə-
1
: conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature
a sophomoric argument
2
: lacking in maturity, taste, or judgment
sophomoric humor

Did you know?

Sophomores get a bad rap. A lot of people seem to think they're foolish (no matter what they do), when they themselves know they're pretty wise. The history of the words sophomore and sophomoric (which developed from sophomore) proves that it has always been tough to be a sophomore. Those words probably come from a combination of the Greek terms sophos (which means "wise") and mōros (which means "foolish"). But sophomores can take comfort in the fact that some very impressive words, including philosopher and sophisticated, are also related to sophos.

Examples of sophomoric in a Sentence

His behavior at the party was sophomoric.
Recent Examples on the Web Following the news that Speaker Kevin McCarthy has lent his imprimatur to an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman summed up the conventional wisdom to which Democratic partisans are partial in his reliably theatrical and sophomoric style. Noah Rothman, National Review, 13 Sep. 2023 The sunglasses originally were set to sell for $69, but the coach pushed for the current price point of $67 as a cap-tip to the year he was born while dodging fits of sophomoric humor. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 Lamb is Graham’s touchstone for a new Britain emerging in the latter half of the 20th century — not just one with a weakness for sophomoric naughtiness, but also an anti-unionist, nativist one that would soon vote for Margaret Thatcher, and later for Brexit. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2023 There are laughs to be had here, yes, but your mileage will vary depending on your tolerance for sophomoric bathroom humor and gratuitous vulgarity. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2023 The sophomoric question—but no less vexing for that quality—is: Where did that stuff come from? Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Oct. 2022 This is a space of casual violence, offhand bigotry, sophomoric humor. Niela Orr, New York Times, 6 July 2023 McCarthy’s remarks followed similarly sophomoric ones from Senator Lindsey Graham. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 12 June 2023 In fact, only the latter entailed a battle with FX executives — who occasionally worry that Burd is needlessly alienating those who dismiss the show as sophomoric — prompting multiple meetings, emails and pages upon pages of notes on fecal matter. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sophomoric.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1813, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sophomoric was in 1813

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near sophomoric

Cite this Entry

“Sophomoric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sophomoric. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sophomoric

adjective
soph·​o·​mor·​ic ˌsäf-ə-ˈmōr-ik How to pronounce sophomoric (audio)
-ˈmȯr-,
-ˈmär-
1
: conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature
a sophomoric argument
2
: lacking in maturity, taste, or judgment
sophomoric humor

More from Merriam-Webster on sophomoric

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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