Faustian bargain

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Faustian bargain

An agreement, bargain, or deal in which a person sacrifices or abandons moral, ethical, or spiritual values in favor of wealth, power, or other benefits. A reference to the legend of Faust, who sold his soul to the devil for unlimited knowledge and power. I fear we might have devised something of a Faustian bargain for ourselves with our overdependence on technology, having traded in every speck of our private lives for flashy gadgets and convenience. She struck a Faustian bargain with the competitors, selling her own company's secrets for shares in each of their companies.
See also: bargain
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Critique: Not since "The Devil and Daniel Webster" by Stephen Vincent Benet has the Faustian bargain been so cleverly presented.
The Faustian promise of speed now shackles us not with the escape from drudgery or more leisure time but with disordered rest.
"I reject the view that, under either Mr Blair or Mr Brown, some sort of Faustian pact was forged between the government and Rupert Murdoch involving commercial concessions to him in return for support from his newspapers."
In a more modern view, which evolved in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Faustian pursuit was viewed much more positively.
"One could argue that there are those who make their career out of being famous and those people do enter into a Faustian Pact, where they use the press to raise their profile.
Whether he's the ancient relic of a Faustian bargain, a disease-ridden Pomeroy descendent, or a spectral embodiment of memories that hold the town captive, the moment of reckoning is real.
Knox (1791-1862) is now known as the Faustian anatomist whose hunger for corpses to dissect led to murder, for which he fled the country and traveled with an Indian circus until he died in poverty.
I believe Carlos Moya has formed a Faustian pact with power-hungry robots in a lastditch attempt to regain his World No.
STATE-ORDAINED POET LAUREATES ARE INEVITABLY LITERARY COURT JESTERS MUZZLED FAUSTIAN PACT MAKERS, NOT COURAGEOUS TRUTH TELLERS.
From the standpoint of an observer, this year's TIFF seemed rife with examples of Faustian imagery and demarcation between the nature
Also provided is a detailed study of the first Faust books and popular Faustian folktales; original discussions on Christopher Marlowe's drama (including a unique and controversial analysis of the A and B texts of the play); the Faust puppet plays; and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's unfinished Faust drama.
Written by Joan Hoff (Research Professor of History, Montana State University, Bozeman) A Faustian Foreign Policy from Woodrow Wilson to George W.
--Robert Poole Jr., "The Scientists' Faustian Bargain"
That beast is the narrator herself, an anonymous writer who negotiates a Faustian bargain with Jim Tobold, the self-styled "King of Hamburgers" whose fast-food empire has consumed the entire world, just as the entire world consumes his burgers.