Share this entry

realpolitik Syllabification: re·al·po·li·tik
Pronunciation: /rāˈälpōliˌtēk/

Definition of realpolitik in English:


A system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.
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'.

Definition of realpolitik in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious