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Word of the Day
Friday, December 02, 2016

Definitions for Faustian

  1. sacrificing spiritual values for power, knowledge, or material gain: a Faustian pact with the Devil.
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of Faust: a Faustian novel.
  3. characterized by spiritual dissatisfaction or torment.

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Citations for Faustian
Some fearful Faustian compact had taken place. Lawrence Durrell, "The Unspeakable Attaché," Stiff Upper Lip, 1958
These autobiographical currents make Cup of Gold not only a portrait of the artist as a young man, but an allegory of the Faustian bargain implicit in the American dream--whether the dream of an aggressive young nation, Steinbeck's "Republic of Buccaneers"--or the dream of an aggressive young individual ambitious for fortune, fame, and love. Susan F. Beegel, introduction to Cup of Gold, by John Steinbeck, 2008
Origin of Faustian
Johann Faust (c1481–c1541), Latinized as Johannes Faustus, was an itinerant German alchemist, astrologer, magician, and thaumaturge. Legend has it that even though he was very successful, he became dissatisfied with his life and with the limits of human knowledge and therefore sold his soul to the Devil for limitless knowledge and pleasure for a limited time—the Faustian bargain. Faust in German means ”fist”; faustus in Latin means ”of favorable omen, auspicious.”