Sophist Soph"ist, n. [F. sophiste, L. sophistes, fr. Gr. ?. See {Sophism}.] 1. One of a class of men who taught eloquence, philosophy, and politics in ancient Greece; especially, one of those who, by their fallacious but plausible reasoning, puzzled inquirers after truth, weakened the faith of the people, and drew upon themselves general hatred and contempt. [1913 Webster]

Many of the Sophists doubdtless card not for truth or morality, and merely professed to teach how to make the worse appear the better reason; but there scems no reason to hold that they were a special class, teaching special opinions; even Socrates and Plato were sometimes styled Sophists. --Liddell & Scott. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, an impostor in argument; a captious or fallacious reasoner. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sophist — (v. gr.), bedeutet eigentlich denjenigen, welcher im Stande ist Andere klug, einsichtig u. weise zu machen. Protagoras (s.d.) soll der erste gewesen[300] sein, welcher sich diesen Namen ausdrücklich beilegte; im 5. Jahrh. v. Chr. wurde er auf die …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sophist — Sophist, allgemein: Trugredner (holländ. drogredenaar) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • sophist — 1540s, earlier sophister (late 14c.), from L. sophista, sophistes, from Gk. sophistes, from sophizesthai to become wise or learned, from sophos wise, clever, of unknown origin. Gk. sophistes came to mean one who gives intellectual instruction for …   Etymology dictionary

  • sophist — ► NOUN ▪ a person who uses clever but false arguments. DERIVATIVES sophistic adjective sophistical adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • sophist — [säf′ist] n. [L sophista < Gr sophistēs, wise man: see SOPHISM] 1. [often S ] in ancient Greece, any of a group of teachers of rhetoric, politics, philosophy, etc., some of whom were notorious for their clever, specious arguments 2. any person …   English World dictionary

  • sophist — /sof ist/, n. 1. (often cap.) Gk. Hist. a. any of a class of professional teachers in ancient Greece who gave instruction in various fields, as in general culture, rhetoric, politics, or disputation. b. a person belonging to this class at a later …   Universalium

  • Sophist — Die Sophistik, von griechisch σοφιστής (sophistés) „Weisheitsbringer“ (seinerzeit geläufige Berufsbezeichnung für Lehrer), ist aus heute landläufiger (nachplatonischer) Sicht eine geistige Strömung der griechischen Antike. In herabsetzender Weise …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sophist — ↑ Sophistin Deutler, Deutlerin; (bildungsspr.): Kasuist, Kasuistin; (ugs.): [schlauer] Fuchs, Schlaufuchs, Schlaumeier; (ugs., oft scherzh.): Schlauberger, Schlaubergerin; (abwertend): Haarspalter, Haarspalterin, Scholastiker, Scholastikerin,… …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • sophist — noun Etymology: Latin sophista, from Greek sophistēs, literally, expert, wise man, from sophizesthai to become wise, deceive, from sophos clever, wise Date: 14th century 1. philosopher 2. capitalized any of a class of ancient Greek teachers of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sophist — noun /ˈsɒfɪst/ a) One of a class of teachers of rhetoric, philosophy, and politics in ancient Greece, especially one who used fallacious but plausible reasoning. b) One who is captious …   Wiktionary

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