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or Realpolitik

[rey-ahl-poh-li-teek, ree-] /reɪˈɑlˌpoʊ lɪˌtik, ri-/
political realism or practical politics, especially policy based on power rather than on ideals.
Origin of realpolitik
1910-15; < German, equivalent to real real1 + Politik politics, policy; see politic
Related forms
[rey-ahl-poh-lee-ti-ker, ree-] /reɪˈɑl poʊˌli tɪ kər, ri-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for realpolitik


a ruthlessly realistic and opportunist approach to statesmanship, rather than a moralistic one, esp as exemplified by Bismarck
Word Origin
C19: German: politics of realism
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 realpolitik

1914, from German Realpolitik, which can be translated as "practical politics." See real (adj.) + politics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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realpolitik in Culture
realpolitik [(ray-ahl-poh-li-teek)]

Governmental policies based on hard, practical considerations rather than on moral or idealistic concerns. Realpolitik is German for “the politics of reality” and is often applied to the policies of nations that consider only their own interests in dealing with other countries.

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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