Faustian bargain

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An agreement in which a person abandons his or her spiritual values or moral principles in order to obtain wealth or other benefits.


  • From the medieval legend of Faust, who made a contract with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The story first appeared in print in an anonymously written chapbook, Historia von D. Johann Fausten, which purported to contain tales about the life of the German alchemist and magician Johann Georg Faust. It was particularly popularized by two plays, Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragicall History of D. Faustus and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust.

Submitted on July 07, 2010


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"Faustian bargain." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 8 Dec. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/faustian-bargain_12259>.

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