Definition of Mephistopheles in English:


(also Mephisto)


  • An evil spirit to whom Faust, in the German legend, sold his soul.

    • ‘Of course, Faust was tempted enough to fall for the Mephistopheles trick, and sold his soul to the devil.’
    • ‘Instead of setting the play in a room at the inn, he relocates it out in the coachyard, congesting the stage with a sinister traffic-jam of lamp-lit shuttered carriages from whose murky depths the tricksters emerge like so many Mephistopheleses.’
    • ‘Murnau is portrayed as a Mephistopheles who will pay any price to create his masterpiece, including the death of his cast and crew.’
    • ‘And events proceed, with yours truly, Mephistopheles himself, trading in his soul for youth, beauty, all that.’