Pronunciation: (sof'ist), [key]
1. (often cap.) Gk. Hist.
a. any of a class of professional teachers in ancient Greece who gave instruction in various fields, as in general culture, rhetoric, politics, or disputation.
b. a person belonging to this class at a later period who, while professing to teach skill in reasoning, concerned himself with ingenuity and specious effectiveness rather than soundness of argument.
2. a person who reasons adroitly and speciously rather than soundly.
3. a philosopher.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.