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[foust] /faʊst/
[yoh-hahn] /ˈyoʊ hɑn/ (Show IPA),
c1480–c1538, German magician, alchemist, and astrologer.
the chief character of a medieval legend, represented as selling his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power.
(italics) a tragedy by Goethe (Part 1, 1808; Part 2, 1832).
(italics) an opera (1859) by Charles Gounod. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Faust
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The next afternoon Faust reported at Crane's rooms with the rescued note in his possession.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • How wisely Goethe deals in Faust with the problemif it be a problemof Evil!

    Visions and Revisions John Cowper Powys
  • The characteristics of Faust and Mephistopheles never became fully linked in Verlaine; they only interlaced.

    Paul Verlaine Stefan Zweig
  • And yet no one could say that Goethe disparages the enormity of Faust's crime.

    Visions and Revisions John Cowper Powys
  • He thought of Jurgen, of Faust—for in some miraculous way he had reclaimed his youth or been reclaimed by it.

    A World Apart Samuel Kimball Merwin
  • "I see you have Diablo entered for the Brooklyn," Faust put out as a feeler.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Mr. Scott then went to Rome, where he made his first appearance in Faust, with great success.

  • Faust went away more than ever suspicious of Crane and Diablo.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Faust hesitates at this, whereupon the wily demon causes him to behold a vision.

    Stars of the Opera Mabel Wagnalls
British Dictionary definitions for Faust


(German legend) a magician and alchemist who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Faust in Culture
Faust [(fowst)]

A legendary sixteenth-century magician and practitioner of alchemy, who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for youth, knowledge, and power. Christopher Marlowe, a sixteenth-century English poet, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote famous plays about him.

Note: A “Faustian” bargain is one in which a person is willing to make extreme sacrifices for power or knowledge without considering the ultimate cost.
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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