Share this entry

Share this page

Mephistopheles

Syllabification: Meph·i·stoph·e·les
Pronunciation: /ˌmefəˈstäfəlēz
 
/
(also Mephisto /məˈfistō/)

Definition of Mephistopheles in English:

noun

An evil spirit to whom Faust, in the German legend, sold his soul.
Example sentences
  • Murnau is portrayed as a Mephistopheles who will pay any price to create his masterpiece, including the death of his cast and crew.
  • Of course, Faust was tempted enough to fall for the Mephistopheles trick, and sold his soul to the devil.
  • And events proceed, with yours truly, Mephistopheles himself, trading in his soul for youth, beauty, all that.

Derivatives

Mephistophelean

1
Pronunciation: /məˌfistəˈfēlēən, ˌmefəstə-/
(also Mephistophelian) adjective
Example sentences
  • Ben Castellano is a talented but unpublished writer who strikes a Mephistophelean bargain with his best friend Brice, a bestselling author suffering from writers' block since his acrimonious divorce.
  • His cleverly disguised off-cutters terrified batsmen, and a legend grew as cartoonists captured his Mephistophelean physiognomy and writers relished his deadly deeds.
  • Max von Sydow gives a coolly Mephistophelean performance as Sam, the dapper, expatriate owner of a neon-lit gambling joint in the middle of a desert.

Definition of Mephistopheles in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ôrˈTHōəpē
noun
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words