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[sof-uh-mawr, -mohr; sof-mawr, -mohr] /ˈsɒf əˌmɔr, -ˌmoʊr; ˈsɒf mɔr, -moʊr/
a student in the second year of high school or college.
a person or group in the second year of any endeavor:
He's a sophomore on Wall Street.
of or pertaining to a sophomore.
of or being a second effort or second version:
Their sophomore album was even better than their first.
1645-55; earlier sophumer, probably equivalent to sophum sophism + -er1
Related forms
presophomore, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for sophomores
  • Freshmen and sophomores at four-year colleges are not eligible.
  • It is really easy to keep freshmen and sophomores grounded.
  • They were selected when they were sophomores, and they have been probed, poked and measured ever since.
  • Some kids are ready for algebra in eighth grade, some as sophomores.
  • High school sophomores and above along with college students are eligible for this opportunity.
  • High school sophomores and seniors were generally identified as of the spring of each year.
  • Retention rates were slightly higher for sophomores and juniors.
  • All ages, high school sophomores through senior adults, are encouraged to respond.
British Dictionary definitions for sophomores


(mainly US & Canadian) a second-year student at a secondary (high) school or college
(of a book, recording, etc by an artist) second: her sophomore album
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from earlier sophumer, from sophum, variant of sophism + -er1
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 sophomores



1680s, "student in the second year of university study," literally "arguer," altered from sophumer (1650s, from sophume, archaic variant form of sophism), probably by influence of folk etymology derivation from Greek sophos "wise" + moros "foolish, dull." The original reference might be to the dialectic exercises that formed a large part of education in the middle years. At Oxford and Cambridge, a sophister (from sophist with spurious -er as in philosopher) was a second- or third-year student (what Americans would call a "junior" might be a senior sophister).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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