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

Colin Davis, 85, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and one of Britain's elder statesmen of classical music, died in London., "Today in History: April 14, 2018," 14 Apr. 2018 The elder statesmen would be too much down low to handle. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Who wins if Detroit Pistons, Michigan, MSU created localBig3 league?," 11 July 2018 China’s satisfaction means that, as well as becoming a statesman and seeing fewer military exercises on his doorstep, Mr Kim may also find the sanctions against his regime eased. The Economist, "Kim Jong Un did better than Donald Trump at the Singapore summit," 14 June 2018 In his new incarnation as an aging statesman, Sadr hasn’t shifted all that much. Thanassis Cambanis,, "How did Iraq’s Moqtada al-Sadr become a statesman? People just got used to him," 26 May 2018 Abdullah has continued in his father’s tradition as an ally of the U.S. and a statesman advocating for peace, said Heather J. Sharkey, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Kristin E. Holmes,, "Philly-based Templeton Foundation awards $1.45 million religion prize to Jordan's King Abdullah II," 26 June 2018 Even the party’s voters know that these men aren’t great statesmen. Josephine Huetlin, The New Republic, "Why Do Populists Frequently Get Away With Corruption?," 25 June 2018 To understand how to motivate both superstars and role players, rookies and elder statesmen, the media and the madness. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steve Kerr pushed right buttons with Warriors," 10 June 2018 In mid-January Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president and still-powerful statesman, wrote an open letter urging him to quit after one term, accusing him of nepotism and mismanaging the economy. The Economist, "Politics in NigeriaMuhammadu Buhari gears up for a second presidential term," 31 Jan. 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

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for statesman

The first known use of statesman was in 1592

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More Definitions for statesman



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

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something that serves to warn or remind

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