- Of or relating to sciolism, or a sciolist; showing only superficial knowledge.
1832, F[rancis] Merewether, An Appeal to the Nobility and Gentry of the County of Leicester, in Behalf of the Church of England, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire: Printed and sold by W. Hextall. Sold also by C., J., G., and F. Rivington, London; and Combe and Son, Leicester, OCLC 59215759, pages 20–21:
- You will doubtless be ready to admit that we live in a sciolistic age altogether; in which every person gives his opinion on every subject, without either waiting or caring for the information of those whose business it is to be specially and accurately acquainted with what is spoken of. But I am not afraid to conclude this topic with the remark; that on no one subject whatever does this sciolistic spirit so palpably shew itself, as on that of religion.
1870, Walter Arthur Copinger, “Copyright in Sculpture and Busts”, in The Law of Copyright, in Works of Literature and Art: Including that of the Drama, Music, Engraving, Sculpture, Painting, Photography and Ornamental and Useful Designs; together with International and Foreign Copyright, with the Statutes Relating thereto, and References to the English and American Decisions, London: Stevens and Haynes, OCLC 221125737, page 181:
- These mementoes or memorials [sculptural national monuments], though in the present age the unphilosophical and sciolistic spirit of some have led them to regard with contempt this method of honouring the illustrious great, excite a laudable admiration for the service or benefit to which they testify, and are living realities to perpetuate at once the respect entertained by the nation, both for the individual himself and the performance that has entitled him to their gratitude.
1900, Transactions of the Dental Society of the State of New York, Albany, N.Y.: Argus Co., printers, OCLC 4738610, page 147:
- An English clique of literati and sciolistic scientists, headed by a sciolistic pretender named Dr. Lardner, made themselves judges of all disputed questions in science and attempted to prove that steam navigation was impossible.
1970, Stanley Friedman, “Metabolism of Carbohydrates in Insects”, in Marcel Florkin; Bradley T[itus] Scheer, editors, Chemical Zoology, volume V (Arthropoda Part A), New York, N.Y.; London: Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-261035-6, page 168:
- In this context, it is important to note, and we cannot stress this too vigorously, that our total understanding of the biochemistry of insects derives, except at the most sciolistic level, from a very small number of species.
1997, Fredric Dolezal, “Re-constructing Ideology, Part One: Animadversions of John Horne Tooke on the Origins of Affixes and Non-designative Words”, in Hans Henrich Hock, editor, Historical, Indo-European, and Lexicographical Studies: A Festschrift for Ladislav Zgusta on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday [Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs; 90], Berlin; New York, N.Y.: Mouton de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-012884-0, page 261:
- John Horne Tooke occupies a unique place in the history of Indo-European studies and lexicography – oblivion: Only rarely in discussions of Indo-European linguistics and lexicography does one find a mention of the unredoubtable, irascible, and sciolistic champion of comparative and historical language study; but then, why should a sciolist and purveyor of fanciful etymologies be mentioned at all?
2004, William Safire, quoting James L. Reynolds, No Uncertain Terms: More Writing from the Popular “On Language” Column in The New York Times Magazine, New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0-7432-4243-1, page 188:
- You seem to have erred in characterizing as solipsistic those solons who dangled a participle in drafting the law controlling the National Endowment for the Arts. The near homophone for which you apparently reached is solecistic, violating conventional grammar. Using solipsistic, a form of philosophic self-absorption, is sciolistic, i.e., shallow on understanding. What a catachresis!
- For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:sciolistic.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.