One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Wicked; fiendish.‘a Mephistophelian cackle’
diabolical, fiendish, devilish, demonic, demoniac, demoniacalView synonyms
- ‘Ben Castellano is a talented but unpublished writer who strikes a Mephistophelean bargain with his best friend Brice, a bestselling author suffering from writers' block since his acrimonious divorce.’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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Early 19th century: from Mephistopheles, an evil spirit to whom Faust, in the German legend, sold his soul.
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