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From earlier sophumer, from the obsolete sophom, sophum (sophism or dialectical exercise), from Ancient Greek sophism. Likely influenced by Ancient Greek σοφός (sophós, wise) + μωρός (mōrós, fool). Compare oxymoron (literally sharp-dull), a similar contradiction.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɒfəmɔː/
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  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɑfmɔɹ/, /ˈsɒfmɔɹ/, /ˈsɔfmɔɹ/
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  • (Canada) IPA(key): /ˈsɒf(ə)mɔɹ/
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sophomore (not comparable)

  1. (US) The second in a series, especially, the second of an artist’s albums or the second of four years in a high school (tenth grade) or university.
    Coordinate term: debut
    The band’s sophomore album built upon the success of their debut release, catapulting them to megastardom.
    • 2016 August 21, Joe Coscarelli, “Frank Ocean Finally Delivers His Album, and a Pop-Up Surprise”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      “Blonde,” which is spelled “Blond” on the album cover and “Blonde” on Apple and elsewhere, hews more closely to what was expected from a sophomore release by one of the most lauded and enigmatic young singers in pop music.
    • 2021 March 5, Jason Bailey, “Watch These 13 Titles on Netflix Before They Leave This Month”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      Spike Lee’s sophomore film, after his micro-budgeted and critically acclaimed debut, “She’s Gotta Have It,” was this big, bold ensemble musical set on the campus of a Historically Black College over a busy homecoming weekend.
  2. Sophomoric.



sophomore (plural sophomores)

  1. (US, Philippines) A second-year undergraduate student in a college or university, or a second-year student in a four-year secondary school or high school.
    She was very mature for a sophomore and had several friends who were juniors or even seniors.
  2. (US, horse-racing) A three-year-old horse.
    The filly had looked promising as a sophomore, but concerns over her health had prompted the owner to pull her from the season’s early races.

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