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From Middle English safistre, soffistre, sofystry, sophestrie, sophestry, sophestrye, sophistre, sophistri, sophistrie, sophistry, sophistrye, sophystrye, from Old French sofisterie, sophistrie and Medieval Latin sophistria, Anglo-Latin sophestria, from Latin sophista, from Ancient Greek σοφιστής (sophistḗs, wise man), from σοφίζω (sophízō, I am wise), from σοφός (sophós, wise).



sophistry (countable and uncountable, plural sophistries)

  1. (uncountable, historical) The actions or arguments of a sophist.
    • 1844, Søren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments:
      Such conduct is at any rate not sophistical, if Aristotle be right in describing sophistry as the art of making money.
  2. (uncountable) Plausible yet fallacious argumentations or reasoning.
  3. (countable) An argument that seems plausible, but is fallacious or misleading, especially one devised deliberately to be so; a sophism.

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