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[steyts-muh n] /ˈsteɪts mən/
noun, plural statesmen.
a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs.
a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.
Origin of statesman
1585-95; state + 's1 + -man, modeled on steersman; compare the phrase ship of state
Related forms
statesmanlike, statesmanly, adjective
superstatesman, noun, plural superstatesmen.
unstatesmanlike, adjective
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for statesmen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It produced no great generals and statesmen and no famous Kings.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • Why have there been statesmen who have never ruled, and heroes who have never conquered?

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • By 1490 statesmen were already alarmed at the progress made by enclosure.

    The Enclosures in England Harriett Bradley
  • Emilio Castelar, one of Spain's most noted orators and statesmen.

  • In the Gorgias too the statesmen reappear, but in stronger opposition to the philosopher.

    Meno Plato
British Dictionary definitions for statesmen


noun (pl) -men
a political leader whose wisdom, integrity, etc, win great respect
a person active and influential in the formulation of high government policy, such as a cabinet member
a politician
Derived Forms
statesman-like, statesmanly, adjective
statesmanship, noun
stateswoman, noun:feminine
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 statesmen



1590s, after French homme d'état; see state (n.1) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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