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[sof-uh-stree] /ˈsɒf ə stri/
noun, plural sophistries.
a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.
a false argument; sophism.
Origin of sophistry
1300-50; Middle English sophistrie < Middle French, equivalent to sophistre sophister + -ie -y3
Related forms
antisophistry, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sophistry
  • Your comment is informative only in that it provides a textbook example of sophistry.
  • From demagoguery to sophistry, the deniers practice the whole range of methods for manufacturing doubt.
  • And the notion that all the new machinery can or will be dismantled is the silliest kind of sophistry.
  • If sophistry is all you bring to the table, then your arguments fall flat on their proverbial nose.
  • The real offense is the church's theological sophistry.
  • Until then, the artful general has nothing to offer his domestic critics except sophistry.
  • Until that day, the general defends himself with sophistry.
  • Still, that is empty sophistry if the taking of that trophy is unethical-in which case it is not a trophy at all.
  • Such sophistry does not warrant dismissal of the cause of action.
British Dictionary definitions for sophistry


noun (pl) -ries
  1. a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
  2. the art of using such arguments
subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning
an instance of this; sophism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sophistry

"specious but fallacious reasoning," mid-14c., from Old French sophistrie (Modern French sophisterie), from Medieval Latin sophistria, from Latin sophista, sophistes (see sophist). "Sophistry applies to reasoning as sophism to a single argument" [Century Dictionary].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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