- of, like, or befitting Machiavelli.
- being or acting in accordance with the principles of government analyzed in Machiavelli's The Prince, in which political expediency is placed above morality and the use of craft and deceit to maintain the authority and carry out the policies of a ruler is described.
- characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty: He resorted to Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead.
- a follower of the principles analyzed or described in The Prince, especially with reference to techniques of political manipulation.
Origin of Machiavellian
Examples from the Web for machiavelian
Divide et impera is the true Machiavelian policy of all governments.Comic Arithmetic
"You may trust to my sagacity for that," said the baron, with a truly Machiavelian air.Pride
He thought the question almost Machiavelian in its adroitness.The Song of the Wolf
Each accomplished his designs by Machiavelian methods, and attained a brief exaltation.Vondel's Lucifer
Joost van den Vondel
As if by divine revelation the situation lay bare before him,—the whole Machiavelian scheme as conceived by Manuel.West Wind Drift
George Barr McCutcheon
- of or relating to the alleged political principles of Machiavelli; cunning, amoral, and opportunist
- a cunning, amoral, and opportunist person, esp a politician
Word Origin and History for machiavelian
"cunning, deceitful, unscrupulous," 1570s, from Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Florentine statesman and author of "Del Principe," a work advising rulers to place advantage above morality. A word of abuse in English well before his works were translated ("The Discourses" 1636, "The Prince" 1640), in part because his books were Indexed by the Church, in part because of French attacks on him (e.g. Gentillet's, translated into English 1602).