• WordNet 3.6
    • n sophism a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sophism The doctrine or mode of reasoning practiced by a sophist; hence, any fallacy designed to deceive. "When a false argument puts on the appearance of a true one, then it is properly called a sophism , or “fallacy”.""Let us first rid ourselves of sophisms , those of depraved men, and those of heartless philosophers."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sophism A false argumentation devised for the exercise of one's ingenuity or for the purpose of deceit; sometimes, a logically false argumentation; a fallacy. The word is especially applied to certain ancient tricks of reasoning, which before the systematization of logic and grammar had a real value, and were treated as important secrets. For the various kinds of sophism, see fallacy.
    • n sophism Syn. A sophism is an argument known to be unsound by him who uses it; a paralogism is an unsound argument used without knowledge of its unsoundness. Paralogism is a strictly technical word of logic; sophism is not. Sophistry applies to reasoning as sophism to a single argument. See fallacy.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sophism sof′izm a specious fallacy.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. sophisme, L. sophisma, fr. Gr. , fr. to make wise, to be become wise, to play the sophist, fr. wise
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. sophisme—Gr. sophismasophizein, to make wise—sophos, wise.


In literature:

Some rapid sophisms embarrassed Plato.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
Then begins the poor animal to entangle himself in sophisms and to flounder in absurdity.
"Obiter Dicta Second Series" by Augustine Birrell
Her little sophism pleased me.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai
This is a sophism largely current abroad, and not without its dupes even at home.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864" by Various
Buridan was exempted, and, in gratitude, invented the sophism.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)" by Augustus De Morgan
I can follow my reasonings, and I hear on the other side, the sophisms my double breathes in me.
"En Route" by J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
The declaration is an awkward attempt to saturate sophism with truism; but the sophism is left largely in excess.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)" by Augustus de Morgan
A sophism, indeed, is the chivalry of the savage.
"The Quadroon" by Mayne Reid
Its sophisms at the time of the Revolution, 368.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Curst be thy sophisms!
"André" by William Dunlap

In science:

Zeno’s Paradoxes have interested philosophers of all times1 although until the middle of the XIX century they were frequently considered as mere sophisms.
The Aleph-zero or zero dichotomy