[steyts-muh n]
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noun, plural states·men.
  1. a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs.
  2. 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 formsstates·man·like, states·man·ly, adjectivesu·per·states·man, noun, plural su·per·states·men.un·states·man·like, adjective

Synonyms for statesman

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1. See politician.

Usage note

See -man. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for statesman

lawmaker, politician, legislator, statesman

Examples from the Web for statesman

Contemporary Examples of statesman

Historical Examples of statesman

  • It was then that his great career as a European statesman really began.

  • As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

  • In politics, an imaginary rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles with his record.

  • A statesman who shakes the fruit trees of his neighbors —to dislodge the worms.

  • This dashing young Barnacle, in a word, was likely to become a statesman, and to make a figure.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for statesman


noun plural -men
  1. a political leader whose wisdom, integrity, etc, win great respect
  2. a person active and influential in the formulation of high government policy, such as a cabinet member
  3. a politician
Derived Formsstatesman-like or statesmanly, adjectivestatesmanship, nounstateswoman, fem n
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

Word Origin and History for statesman

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper