[14] As those who hanker for the ancestral meanings of words never tire of pointing out, sophisticated originally meant ‘adulterated, corrupted’. The modern approbatory sense ‘worldly-wise, cultured’ did not emerge (via an intermediate ‘lacking primitive or original naturalness or naivety’) until the end of the 19th century; and ‘refined and elaborate’ (as in ‘a sophisticated missile system’) is more recent still, not being recorded until after World War II. The verb was adapted from the past participle of medieval Latin sophisticāre. This was derived from Latin sophisticus, a borrowing from Greek sophistikós, which in turn was derived from sophistés, a noun which meant literally ‘expert, deviser’, but was also used for a school of 5thcentury BC Greek philosophers (the Sophists) who came to be despised for their specious and intellectually dishonest reasoning (hence English sophistry [14]). Sophistés itself came via sophízesthai ‘play subtle tricks’ from sophós ‘skilled, clever, wise’, a word of unknown origin. Sophomore ‘second-year student’ [17] is an alteration of an earlier sophumer ‘arguer’, a derivative of sophum, which is a now defunct variant of sophism. => SOPHISTRY, SOPHOMORE

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Sophisticate — So*phis ti*cate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Sophisticated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Sophisticating}.] [LL. sophisticatus, p. p. of sophisticare to sophisticate.] To render worthless by admixture; to adulterate; to damage; to pervert; as, to sophisticate wine …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sophisticate — So*phis ti*cate, Sophisticated So*phis ti*ca ted, a. Adulterated; not pure; not genuine. [1913 Webster] So truth, while only one supplied the state, Grew scare and dear, and yet sophisticate. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sophisticate — index denature, evade (deceive), expert, mislead, pervert, prevaricate, veteran Burton s Legal Thesaurus …   Law dictionary

  • sophisticate — (v.) c.1400, from pp. stem of M.L. sophisticare (see SOPHISTICATION (Cf. sophistication)). As a noun, from 1923 …   Etymology dictionary

  • sophisticate — *adulterate, load, weight, doctor …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sophisticate — ► VERB 1) make more discerning and aware of complex issues through education or experience. 2) make more complex or refined. ► NOUN ▪ a sophisticated person. DERIVATIVES sophistication noun. ORIGIN Latin sophisticare tamper with , from s …   English terms dictionary

  • sophisticate — [sə fis′tə kāt΄; ] for n., usually [, sə fis′təkit] vt. sophisticated, sophisticating [ME sophisticaten < ML sophisticatus, pp. of sophisticare < L sophisticus: see SOPHISTICAL] 1. to change from being natural, simple, artless, etc. to… …   English World dictionary

  • sophisticate — UK [səˈfɪstɪkeɪt] / US [səˈfɪstɪkət] noun [countable] Word forms sophisticate : singular sophisticate plural sophisticates someone who knows a lot about things such as culture, fashion, and the modern world …   English dictionary

  • sophisticate — n., adj. /seuh fis ti kit, kayt /; v. /seuh fis ti kayt /, n., adj., v., sophisticated, sophisticating. n. 1. a sophisticated person. adj. 2. sophisticated. v.t. 3. to make less natural, simple, or ingenuous; make worldly wise. 4. to alter;… …   Universalium

  • sophisticate — [[t]səfɪ̱stɪkeɪt[/t]] sophisticates N COUNT A sophisticate is someone who knows about culture, fashion, and other matters that are considered socially important …   English dictionary

  • sophisticate — so•phis•ti•cate n. [[t]səˈfɪs tɪ kɪt, ˌkeɪt[/t]] v. [[t] ˌkeɪt[/t]] n. v. cat•ed, cat•ing 1) a sophisticated person 2) to make less natural, simple, or ingenuous; make worldly wise 3) to alter; pervert: to sophisticate a meaning beyond… …   From formal English to slang

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