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Definition of "sophist" [soph•ist]

  • One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation. (noun)
  • A scholar or thinker. (noun)
  • Any of a group of professional fifth-century B.C. Greek philosophers and teachers who speculated on theology, metaphysics, and the sciences, and who were later characterized by Plato as superficial manipulators of rhetoric and dialectic. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "sophist" in a sentence
  • "29 But they disdained the language and the sciences of the Greeks; and the vain sophist, or grave philosopher, who had enjoyed the flattering applause of the schools, was mortified to find that his robust servant was a captive of more value and importance than himself."
  • "There's a reason why you were called a sophist seneca..."
  • "My advice then is to mistrust the sonorous catch-words394 of the sophist, and not to despise the reasoned conclusions395 of the philosopher; for the sophist is a hunter after the rich and young, the philosopher is the common friend of all; he neither honours nor despises the fortunes of men."