states·​man | \ ˈstāts-mən \

Definition of statesman

1 : one versed in the principles or art of government especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies
2 : a wise, skillful, and respected political leader

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Other Words from statesman

statesmanlike \ ˈstāts-​mən-​ˌlīk \ adjective
statesmanly \ ˈstāts-​mən-​lē \ adjective
statesmanship \ ˈstāts-​mən-​ˌship \ noun

Examples of statesman in a Sentence

He was a soldier and statesman.

Recent Examples on the Web

George Herbert Walker Bush was America's last great soldier-statesman, a 20th century founding father. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jon Meacham's Eulogy for George H.W. Bush: Read What the President's Biographer Had to Say," 5 Dec. 2018 For example, Mao Zedong’s favorite pork dish is now simply referred to as Mao’s pork and Su Dong Po (a renaissance man, a poet, a statesman, and a food critic) loved a pork dish that is now known as Dongpo pork. Ilaf Esuf, SELF, "How 10 People Cook the Foods They Grew Up With After Immigrating to the United States," 4 Jan. 2019 The men were the latest in a series of Americans to be held in North Korea for alleged anti-state activities in recent years, only to be freed during the visit of a high-level US official or statesman., "3 Americans freed by North Korea reunited with families," 13 May 2018 Lansdowne’s mother was half-French, the daughter of an illegitimate son of the statesman Talleyrand. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Lansdowne’ Review: Noble Aspirations," 26 Dec. 2018 John McCain was a great statesman, who embodied the idea of service over self. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Kirsten Gillibrand, and More Pay Tribute to John McCain," 26 Aug. 2018 His closeness with former president Bush, and his inclusion in the statesman's memorial service, is due to another of his books: 2015's Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Who Is Jon Meacham?," 4 Dec. 2018 Anwar, in his speech, paid tribute to Mahathir as a statesman who helped save the country from the brink of economic destruction. Vincent Thian, The Seattle Times, "Malaysian PM campaigns for successor and former foe Anwar," 9 Oct. 2018 De Gaulle never forgot this, and in 1964 the statesman returned the favor, visiting French Guiana to declare that France would build a spaceport there to launch rockets. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "As the SpaceX steamroller surges, European rocket industry vows to resist," 20 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'statesman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of statesman

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for statesman

Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for statesman

The first known use of statesman was in 1592

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English Language Learners Definition of statesman

: a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader


states·​man | \ ˈstāts-mən \
plural statesmen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of statesman

: a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader

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More from Merriam-Webster on statesman

Spanish Central: Translation of statesman

Nglish: Translation of statesman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of statesman for Arabic Speakers

Comments on statesman

What made you want to look up statesman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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