sciolism; noun a superficial show of learning Example Sentence: Some critics of state-mandated testing say it is an exercise in sciolism that doesn’t really demonstrate a student’s grasp of the material studied. Did you know? “Sciolism” comes from the Late Latin “sciolus,” which means “smatterer” (or “one who speaks with spotty or superficial knowledge”). “Sciolus” comes from the diminutive of Latin “scius,” meaning “knowing,” which itself comes from the verb “scire,” meaning “to know.” Of course, if you know something about Latin roots, you know that “scire” is the source of many other English words, including “science,” “prescience” (“foreknowledge”), “nescience” (“lack of knowledge”), and “conscience.”