SKIP TO CONTENT

sophistication

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
  1. noun
    the quality or character of being intellectually sophisticated and worldly through cultivation or experience or disillusionment
    synonyms: mundaneness, mundanity, worldliness
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    naiveness, naivete, naivety
    lack of sophistication or worldliness
    type of:
    quality
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
  2. noun
    falsification by the use of sophistry; misleading by means of specious fallacies
    “he practiced the art of sophistication upon reason”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    falsehood, falsification
    the act of rendering something false as by fraudulent changes (of documents or measures etc.) or counterfeiting
  3. noun
    a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone
    synonyms: sophism, sophistry
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fallacy, false belief
    a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
  4. noun
    uplifting enlightenment
    synonyms: edification
    see moresee less
    types:
    disenchantment, disillusion, disillusionment
    freedom from false belief or illusions
    type of:
    enlightenment
    education that results in understanding and the spread of knowledge
  5. noun
    being expert or having knowledge of some technical subject
    “understanding affine transformations requires considerable mathematical sophistication
    see moresee less
    type of:
    expertise, expertness
    skillfulness by virtue of possessing special knowledge
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week