AskDefine | Define statesmanship

Dictionary Definition

statesmanship n : wisdom in the management of public affairs [syn: statecraft, diplomacy]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The craft or skill of being a statesman, of leading a government well.

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.”
statesmanship in German: Staatsmann
statesmanship in Spanish: Estadista
statesmanship in French: Homme d'État
statesmanship in Italian: Statista
statesmanship in Hebrew: מדינאי
statesmanship in Dutch: Staatsman
statesmanship in Polish: Mąż stanu
statesmanship in Portuguese: Estadista
statesmanship in Romanian: Om de stat
statesmanship in Russian: Государственный деятель
statesmanship in Slovenian: Državnik
statesmanship in Sundanese: Nagarawan
statesmanship in Swedish: Statsman
statesmanship in Thai: รัฐบุรุษ
statesmanship in Chinese: 政治家
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