sophism mid-14c., "specious but fallacious argument," from O.Fr. sophime "a fallacy, false argument," from L. sophisma, from Gk. sophisma "sophism, clever device," from sophizesthai "become wise" (see SOPHIST (Cf. sophist)).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • Sophism — can mean two very different things: In the modern definition, a sophism is a confusing or illogical argument used for deceiving someone. In Ancient Greece, the sophists were a group of teachers of philosophy and rhetoric.The term sophism… …   Wikipedia

  • Sophism — Soph ism, n. [F. sophisme, L. sophisma, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to make wise, ? to be become wise, to play the sophist, fr. ? wise.] The doctrine or mode of reasoning practiced by a sophist; hence, any fallacy designed to deceive. [1913 Webster] When a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sophism — index fallacy, non sequitur Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sophism — sophistry, casuistry, *fallacy …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sophism — ► NOUN ▪ a false argument, especially one used to deceive. ORIGIN Greek sophisma clever device , from sophizesthai devise, become wise …   English terms dictionary

  • sophism — [säf′iz΄əm] n. [altered (infl. by L) < ME sophime < OFr soffime < L sophisma < Gr < sophizesthai, to play the sophist < sophos, clever, skillful, wise] a clever and plausible but fallacious argument or form of reasoning, whether …   English World dictionary

  • sophism —   n. deceptive or fallacious argument.    ♦ sophist, n. fallacious arguer.    ♦ sophistic(al),   a.    ♦ sophisticate, v.i. make artificial or worldly; corrupt.    ♦ sopyistry, n. sophism, or use of sophism; mere empty argument …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • sophism — noun Date: 15th century 1. an argument apparently correct in form but actually invalid; especially such an argument used to deceive 2. sophistry 1 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sophism — /sof iz euhm/, n. 1. a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone. 2. any false argument; fallacy. [1300 50; < L sophisma sophistry < Gk sóphisma orig., acquired skill, method, deriv. of sophízesthai to act… …   Universalium

  • sophism — noun A flawed argument superficially correct in its reasoning, usually designed to deceive. An intentional fallacy. See Also: sophist, sophistic, sophisticate, sophisticated, sophistry …   Wiktionary

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