Definition of realpolitik in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /reɪˈɑːlpɒlɪˌtiːk/


[mass noun]
A system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations: commercial realpolitik had won the day
More example sentences
  • Power politics and realpolitik emphasized by realists is seen as being derived from shared knowledge which is self-fulfilling.
  • They are terrified of Leninist politics, which is nothing more for them than realpolitik practised by Marxist intellectuals.
  • As they see it, we improperly allow realpolitik considerations to trump the human rights imperatives.


Early 20th century: from German Realpolitik 'practical politics'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.