sophisticated (adj.)

c. 1600, "mixed with a foreign substance, impure; no longer simple or natural," past-participle adjective from sophisticate (v.). In reference to persons, and in a positive sense of "worldly-wise, discriminating, cultured," it is attested by 1895. Related: Sophisticatedly.

The earlier adjective in English was sophisticate, attested from c. 1400 as "adulterated, impure, spurious" and by 1590s as "no longer simple," often with implications of "altered dishonestly."

updated on March 20, 2023