AskDefine | Define statesman

Dictionary Definition

statesman n : a man who is a respected leader in national or international affairs [syn: solon, national leader]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A man who is a leader in national or international affairs.
  2. A political leader who promotes the public good.

Extensive Definition

A statesman or stateswoman is usually a politician or other notable figure of state who has had a long and respected career in politics at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term.
When a politician retires, he or she is often referred to as an elder statesman/ stateswoman by his or her supporters.


  • Aristotle -- "What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions."
  • Harry S. Truman -- "A politician is a man who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years."
  • Henry Kissinger -- "The statesman's duty is to bridge the gap between experience and vision."
  • London's Evening News, July 21, 1960 -- "There will be need for a new word. Presumably, we shall have to call her a Stateswoman. This is the suffragette's dream come true." (On Sirimavo Bandaranaike's election to Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, the first such woman leader in the world, though other women heads of state and government and other women political leaders had been referred to as "statesmen".)
  • Milton Friedman -- "One man's opportunism is another man's statesmanship."
  • Otto von Bismarck -- “I consider even a victorious war as an evil, from which statesmanship must endeavor to spare nations.”
statesman in German: Staatsmann
statesman in Spanish: Estadista
statesman in French: Homme d'État
statesman in Italian: Statista
statesman in Hebrew: מדינאי
statesman in Dutch: Staatsman
statesman in Polish: Mąż stanu
statesman in Portuguese: Estadista
statesman in Romanian: Om de stat
statesman in Russian: Государственный деятель
statesman in Slovenian: Državnik
statesman in Sundanese: Nagarawan
statesman in Swedish: Statsman
statesman in Thai: รัฐบุรุษ
statesman in Chinese: 政治家

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Admirable Crichton, adept, artisan, artist, attache, authority, connaisseur, connoisseur, consultant, cordon bleu, crack shot, craftsman, dead shot, diplomat, diplomatist, elder statesman, experienced hand, expert, expert consultant, graduate, handy man, journeyman, marksman, national leader, no slouch, politician, pro, professional, professor, proficient, public man, savant, shark, sharp, solon, stateswoman, technical adviser, technician
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