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[mef-uh-stof-uh-leez] /ˌmɛf əˈstɒf əˌliz/
Medieval Demonology. one of the seven chief devils and the tempter of Faust.
Also, Mephisto
[muh-fis-toh] /məˈfɪs toʊ/ (Show IPA)
Related forms
Mephistophelian, Mephistophelean
[‐stuh-fee-lee-uh n] /‐stəˈfi li ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mephisto
Historical Examples
  • Bass singers can find nothing better as a medium for gaining public favor than mephisto's song to the "God of Gold."

    Stars of the Opera Mabel Wagnalls
  • And you are a demagogue, and a demigod, and a Jew, and a mephisto!

  • He was changed as bland mephisto would change a man, if the material were adaptable and mephisto an artist.

    The Missourian Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
  • They say there was a mephisto so good he would have deceived the devil himself.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • An Irishman wandering up Fifth avenue saw in the window of a photographer's shop a large photograph of mephisto.

    The New Pun Book Thomas A. Brown and Thomas Joseph Carey
  • The rhythm of the mephisto serenade is too good for this world.

    Musical Criticisms Arthur Johnstone
  • In each of the three movements, the Faust, the Marguerite and the mephisto, you make your best music.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • Not a bit like mephisto: much more like the Miller of the Dee.

    God and my Neighbour Robert Blatchford
  • Man-Hater: A woman who, finding herself no longer acceptable to man, flirts with mephisto.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • I allowed myself to whisper to the man with me: "mephisto and Faust!"

    The Last Miracle M. P. Shiel
British Dictionary definitions for mephisto


a devil in medieval mythology and the one to whom Faust sold his soul in the Faust legend
Derived Forms
Mephistophelean, Mephistophelian (ˌmɛfɪstəˈfiːlɪən) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mephisto


shortened form of Mephistopheles.


1590s, the evil spirit to whom Faust sold his soul in the German legend, from German (1587), of unknown origin. According to the speculation of eminent Göthe scholar K.J. Schröer (1886) it is a compound of Hebrew mephitz "destroyer" + tophel "liar" (short for tophel sheqer, literally "falsehood plasterer;" cf. Job xiii:4). Klein writes that the names of devils in the Middle Ages "are in most cases derived from Hebrew."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mephisto in Culture
Mephistopheles [(mef-i-stof-uh-leez)]

In the drama Faust by Goethe, a devil who tempts Faust into selling his soul to the powers of darkness. Mephistopheles also appears, with his name spelled Mephistophilis, in the sixteenth-century English play Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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