states·​man ˈstāts-mən How to pronounce statesman (audio)
: 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
: a wise, skillful, and respected political leader
statesmanlike adjective
statesmanly adjective
statesmanship noun

Examples of statesman in a Sentence

He was a soldier and statesman.
Recent Examples on the Web In July 2023, at the age of 100, Dr. Kissinger was in Beijing and received an effusive welcome from senior Chinese officials, who hailed him as a statesman unrivaled in the United States. Thomas W. Lippman, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2023 Kissinger Finds His New Boss Gerald Ford Has Fewer 'Hangups' Than Nixon Revered by many as perhaps the most consequential secretary of state in U.S. history, Kissinger's record as a statesman is considerably mixed. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 30 Nov. 2023 As the industry’s senior statesman, he was treated with reverence. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The three agents have always been kingmakers in this town, but Lourd in the past decade has emerged as an industry statesman. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 Xi was eager to appear the global statesman in his meeting. Lyric Li, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 Newsom seemed to be trying to play the role of global statesman, hamming it up on the world stage in an effort to burnish his resume for a future presidential bid. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 The film delves into the theme of departure and aging as the globally renowned playwright is seen adding a new role – that of film director – to his past credits as prisoner of conscience, statesman and national reformer. Will Tizard, Variety, 25 Oct. 2023 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California Time slows to a primeval pace in this giant sequoia grove, where 275-foot-tall statesmen have watched the seasons come and go for more than 2,000 years. Sarah L. Stewart, Travel + Leisure, 19 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'statesman.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of statesman was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near statesman

Cite this Entry

“Statesman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


states·​man ˈstāt-smən How to pronounce statesman (audio)
: a person engaged in fixing the policies and conducting the affairs of a government
especially : one having unusual wisdom and skill in such matters
statesmanlike adjective
statesmanly adjective
statesmanship noun

More from Merriam-Webster on statesman

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