Sophistication is the quality that belongs to a person who appears wise and glamorous. Sipping tea and appreciating opera are both stereotypical signs of sophistication.

The noun sophistication can also be used in a slightly different way, to describe a deep understanding, or an almost enlightened state. Before the 1800s, sophistication meant "the use of sophistry," or using mistaken or deceitful arguments, although the root word for both sophistication and "sophistry" is the Greek sophistes, or "wise man."

Definitions of sophistication

n the quality or character of being intellectually sophisticated and worldly through cultivation or experience or disillusionment

mundaneness, mundanity, worldliness
naiveness, naivete, naivety
lack of sophistication or worldliness
Type of:
an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone

n falsification by the use of sophistry; misleading by means of specious fallacies

“he practiced the art of sophistication upon reason”
Type of:
falsehood, falsification
the act of rendering something false as by fraudulent changes (of documents or measures etc.) or counterfeiting

n a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone

sophism, sophistry
Type of:
fallacy, false belief
a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning

n uplifting enlightenment

disenchantment, disillusion, disillusionment
freedom from false belief or illusions
Type of:
education that results in understanding and the spread of knowledge

n being expert or having knowledge of some technical subject

“understanding affine transformations requires considerable mathematical sophistication
Type of:
expertise, expertness
skillfulness by virtue of possessing special knowledge

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