from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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

    May 2, 2008