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character, ideas, tastes, or ways as the result of education, worldly experience, etc.:
the sophistication of the wealthy.
change from the natural character or simplicity, or the resulting condition.
complexity, as in design or organization.
impairment or debasement, as of purity or genuineness.
the use of ; a sophism, quibble, or fallacious argument.
Contemporary Examples

Mary’s stubbornness is matched only by her sophistication, her boldness by her elegance.
Family Feud: Which ‘Downton Abbey’ Sister Is the Best? Caitlin Dickson, Kevin Fallon, Abby Haglage January 8, 2013

We were greatly impressed with the quality, sophistication, and wide range of topics we received from every country in South Asia.
Newsweek & The Daily Beast–Open Hands Prize Winner June 20, 2012

All in all, manipulation more impressive in its nakedness than in its sophistication—or, ultimately, its effectiveness.
Harsh Prison Sentence Ends Blagojevich Circus Michelle Cottle December 7, 2011

The age of the airplane does not, however, determine the sophistication of the search equipment on board.
Was MH370 Carrying Killer Cargo? Clive Irving March 20, 2014

This Palmer stands for elegance and sophistication: the embodiment of natural gifts, both athletic and personal.
Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up Tom Boswell September 26, 2014

Historical Examples

The haunting beauty of Mr. de la Mare’s delicate art springs from an ear of superlative tenderness and sophistication.
Shandygaff Christopher Morley

With all her sophistication, Tillie was vastly ignorant of life.
K Mary Roberts Rinehart

His sophistication was all gone; he was just a small boy, heartily ashamed of himself and ready to cry.
The Plastic Age Percy Marks

Her expression, her voice, her lack of sophistication, all had the limpidity of water.
The Dust Flower Basil King

He had a very distinguished talent, but he was too distinctly clever—clever to the point of sophistication.
French Art W. C. Brownell


early 15c., “use of sophistry; fallacious argument intended to mislead; adulteration; an adulterated or adulterating substance,” from Medieval Latin sophisticationem (nominative sophisticatio), noun of action from past participle stem of sophisticare “adulterate, cheat quibble,” from Latin sophisticus “of sophists,” from Greek sophistikos “of or pertaining to a sophist,” from sophistes “a wise man, master, teacher” (see sophist). Meaning “wordly wisdom, refinement, discrimination” is attested from 1850.


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  • Soviet

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