Etymology
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sophomore (n.)

1680s, "student in the second year of university study," literally "arguer," altered from sophumer (1650s), from sophume, an archaic variant form of sophism, ultimately from Greek sophistēs "a master of one's craft; a wise or prudent man, one clever in matters of daily life."

The modern form probably is by folk etymology derivation from Greek sophos "wise" + mōros "foolish, dull" (see moron).

The original reference of the "arguer" name might be to the dialectic exercises that formed a large part of education in the middle years. At Oxford and Cambridge, a sophister (from sophist with spurious -er as in philosopher) was a second- or third-year student (what Americans would call a "junior" might be a senior sophister).

Origin and meaning of sophomore

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Definitions of sophomore
1
sophomore (n.)
a second-year undergraduate;
Synonyms: soph
2
sophomore (adj.)
used of the second year in United States high school or college;
the sophomore class
his sophomore year
Synonyms: second-year
From wordnet.princeton.edu