- [oftenS-] in ancient Greece, any of a group of teachers of rhetoric, politics, philosophy, etc., some of whom were notorious for their clever, specious arguments
- any person practicing clever, specious reasoning
Origin of sophistClassical Latin sophista from Classical Greek sophist?s, wise man: see sophism
- a. One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation.b. A scholar or thinker.
- Sophist Any of a group of professional fifth-century BC 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.
Origin of sophistMiddle English sophiste from Latin sophista from Greek sophistēs from sophizesthai to become wise from sophos clever
- The meaning of "sophist" can vary depending on the time period to which one is referring. A sophist of the earliest period was a master in his art or craft who demonstrated (taught by example) his practical skill/learning in exchange for pay. Later sophists were providers of a well-rounded education intended to give pupils arete - "virtue, human excellence". By late antiquity, sophistá¸—s / sophistes tended to denote exclusively a skilled public speaker and/or teacher of rhetoric.
From Latin sophista, also sophistes, from Ancient Greek ÏƒÎ¿Ï†Î¹ÏƒÏ„Î®Ï‚ (sophistÄ“s, “pursuer of wisdom"), from ÏƒÎ¿Ï†Î¯Î¶ÎµÏƒÎ¸Î±Î¹ (sophizesthai, “become wise").