Definition of Mephistophelian in English:

Mephistophelian

(also Mephistophelean)

Pronunciation: /mɪˌfɪstəˈfiːlɪən//ˌmɛfɪstəˈfiːlɪən//ˌmɛfɪstɒfɪˈliːən/

adjective

  • Wicked; fiendish.

    ‘a Mephistophelian cackle’
    • ‘The Scherzo is conducted with a gracefully Mephistophelean menace, and here, the members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra show off their agility and precision.’
    • ‘Max von Sydow gives a coolly Mephistophelean performance as Sam, the dapper, expatriate owner of a neon-lit gambling joint in the middle of a desert.’
    • ‘Ben Castellano is a talented but unpublished writer who strikes a Mephistophelean bargain with his best friend Brice, a bestselling author suffering from writers' block since his acrimonious divorce.’
    • ‘His cleverly disguised off-cutters terrified batsmen, and a legend grew as cartoonists captured his Mephistophelean physiognomy and writers relished his deadly deeds.’
    • ‘In the opera he is led on by a succession of sinister characters, all played in Mephistophelean fashion by the same baritone.’
    diabolical, fiendish, devilish, demonic, demoniac, demoniacal, mephistophelian
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: from Mephistopheles, an evil spirit to whom Faust, in the German legend, sold his soul.

Pronunciation:

Mephistophelian

/mɪˌfɪstəˈfiːlɪən//ˌmɛfɪstəˈfiːlɪən//ˌmɛfɪstɒfɪˈliːən/