Definition of Mephistophelian in English:

Mephistophelian

(also Mephistophelean)

Pronunciation /ˌmɛfɪstəˈfiːlɪən//ˌmɛfɪstɒfɪˈliːən//mɪˌfɪstəˈfiːlɪən/

adjective

  • Wicked; fiendish.

    ‘a Mephistophelian cackle’
    • ‘Ben Castellano is a talented but unpublished writer who strikes a Mephistophelean bargain with his best friend Brice, a bestselling author suffering from writers' block since his acrimonious divorce.’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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    diabolical, fiendish, devilish, demonic, demoniac, demoniacal
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

Mephistophelian

/ˌmɛfɪstəˈfiːlɪən//ˌmɛfɪstɒfɪˈliːən/