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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mephisto
Historical Examples
  • They say there was a mephisto so good he would have deceived the devil himself.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • And you are a demagogue, and a demigod, and a Jew, and a mephisto!

  • The rhythm of the mephisto serenade is too good for this world.

    Musical Criticisms Arthur Johnstone
  • Not a bit like mephisto: much more like the Miller of the Dee.

    God and my Neighbour Robert Blatchford
  • I allowed myself to whisper to the man with me: "mephisto and Faust!"

    The Last Miracle M. P. Shiel
  • Maxime Valois now is the ardent "Faust" to whom he plays "mephisto."

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
  • For in the conception of mephisto you found in Goethe, you found your own spiritual equation.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • "A disguise for this demoiselle," announced mephisto to the woman who met them.

    Violets and Other Tales

    Alice Ruth Moore
  • What would you suggest--just plain black or red--mephisto--or stripes?

    The Mountebank William J. Locke
  • Man-Hater: A woman who, finding herself no longer acceptable to man, flirts with mephisto.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
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 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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