Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Plausible but fallacious argumentation.
  • n. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An argument that seems plausible, but is fallacious or misleading, especially one devised deliberately to be so.
  • n. The art of using deceptive speech or writing.
  • n. Cunning or trickery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The art or process of reasoning; logic.
  • n. The practice of a sophist; fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The methods of teaching, doctrines, or practices of the Greek sophists.
  • n. Fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only; especially, reasoning deceptive from intention or passion.
  • n. Argument for exercise merely.
  • n. Trickery; craft.
  • n. Synonyms See def. 2 of fallacy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone

Etymologies

From Old French sophistrie, from Latin sophista, from Ancient Greek wise man (sophistēs), from σοφίζω (sophizō, "I am wise"), from σοφός (sophos, "wise"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Specious but fallacious reasoning; employment of arguments which are intentionally deceptive.

    May 2, 2008