To sophisticate is to make someone or something less innocent. A sophisticate is also a worldly, cultured person.

The root soph in sophisticate has to do with knowledge, and if a person gets sophisticated, they learn new things, especially about the social world. Parents sophisticate their children by teaching them table manners. Going to college sophisticates many people by exposing them to new ideas and other cultures. After becoming sophisticated, people are less natural and innocent, but more cultured. A sophisticate is also a worldly person. Sophisticates do things like go to the opera and drink fine wine.

Definitions of sophisticate
  1. noun
    a worldly-wise person
    synonyms: man of the world
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    cosmopolitan, cosmopolite
    a sophisticated person who has travelled in many countries
    a person with good manners and stylish clothing
    city boy, city slicker
    a city dweller with sophisticated manners and clothing
    globetrotter, world traveler
    someone who travels widely and often
    type of:
    adult, grownup
    a fully developed person from maturity onward
  2. verb
    make less natural or innocent
    “Their manners had sophisticated the young girls”
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    type of:
    civilise, civilize, cultivate, educate, school, train
    teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment
  3. verb
    alter and make impure, as with the intention to deceive
    Sophisticate rose water with geraniol”
    synonyms: doctor, doctor up
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    type of:
    adulterate, debase, dilute, load, stretch
    corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones
  4. verb
    make more complex or refined
    “a sophisticated design”
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    type of:
    complicate, elaborate, rarify, refine
    make more complex, intricate, or richer
  5. verb
    practice sophistry; change the meaning of or be vague about in order to mislead or deceive
    synonyms: convolute, pervert, twist, twist around
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    type of:
    denote, refer
    have as a meaning
Word Family
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