realpolitik

[rey-ahl-poh-li-teek, ree-]
noun
political realism or practical politics, especially policy based on power rather than on ideals.
Also, Realpolitik.


Origin:
1910–15; < German, equivalent to real real1 + Politik politics, policy; see politic

realpolitiker [rey-ahl-poh-lee-ti-ker, ree-] , noun
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World English Dictionary
realpolitik (reɪˈɑːlpɒlɪˈtiːk)
 
n
a ruthlessly realistic and opportunist approach to statesmanship, rather than a moralistic one, esp as exemplified by Bismarck
 
[C19: German: politics of realism]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

realpolitik
1914, from Ger., lit. "practical politics."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
realpolitik [(ray-ahl-poh-li-teek)]

Governmental policies based on hard, practical considerations rather than on moral or idealistic concerns. Realpolitik is German for “the politics of reality” and is often applied to the policies of nations that consider only their own interests in dealing with other countries.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
We're back to realpolitik--which requires the mind and not the heart.
Because of basic logic, because of human nature, because of harsh realpolitik
  realities.
In fact, the two countries have been edging closer for years-for reasons of
  pure realpolitik.
But their influence has been constrained by questions of realpolitik and
  economic sense.
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