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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: real|poli¦tik

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.