Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A second-year student in a U.S. college.
  • n. A tenth-grade student in a U.S. high school.
  • n. A person in the second year of carrying out an endeavor.
  • adj. Of or relating to the second year of an endeavor, especially of attending a school or college.
  • adj. Being the second in a series: a singer's sophomore album.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. The second in a series, especially, the second of an artist’s albums or the second of four years in a high school (tenth grade) or university.
  • n. A second-year undergraduate student in a college or university, or a second-year student in a four-year secondary school or high school.
  • n. (horse-racing) A three year old horse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One belonging to the second of the four classes in an American college, or one next above a freshman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A student in the second year of his college course.
  • Pertaining to a sophomore, or to the second year of the college course; characteristic of sophomores: as, sophomore studies; sophomore rhetoric.

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

  • adj. used of the second year in United States high school or college
  • n. a second-year undergraduate

Etymologies

Alteration (probably influenced by Greek sophos, wise, and mōros, stupid) of sophumer, from obsolete sophom, sophism, dialectic exercise, variant of sophism.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From earlier sophumer, from the obsolete sophom ("sophism or dialectical exercise"), likely influenced by Ancient Greek σοφός (sophos, "wise") + μωρός (mōros, "fool"). Compare oxymoron (literally "sharp-dull"), a similar contradiction. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When you meet resistance, remember the origin of the word "sophomore"-- that smart/foolish developmental stage.

    Adele Scheele: The Second Year Of College: A Parent's Guide

  • JL: I am not sure I would use the word sophomore here.

    Zandile Blay: Jenné Lombardo Talks 2012 Class of W Hotels' 'Fashion Next' Program

  • You've heard the expression sophomore slump, right?

    Number 6 Fumbles

  • It is tough to find a group that took the term sophomore slump more serious than Camp Lo.

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  • And perhaps that’s very crucial; sophomore is Latin for “fool,” or thereabouts, if I’m not mistaken, and where I was in life at that time might have been instrumental in my reading of Ellis’ novel.

    2008 July | Entrekin

  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus title sophomore album "Lonely Road", Feb 3rd

    Indiependent music.

  • The Flashes also return one of the league's brightest young inside talents in sophomore F Justin Greene, and one if its toughest backcourt players in junior G Rodriquez Sherman.

    Mid-American Conference

  • The clever, articulate Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), a Harvard sophomore, is having an edgy drink with a girlfriend, alternately courting and insulting her in a fashion that suggests a suspicious, contradictory nature, at once diffident and aggressive, anticipating and countering rejection.

    The Social Network – review

  • WHAT WENT RIGHT: Northwestern discovered prospective stars in sophomore forward John Shurna and freshman wing Drew Crawford.

    Big Ten Conference

  • Toss in sophomore Troy Franklin, who shows flashes of brilliance, and sophomore RaShawn Polk, and there is something to build on.

    Colonial Athletic Assosiation

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