[ mak-ee-uh-vel-ee-uhn ]
/ ˌmæk i əˈvɛl i ən /
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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.
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Sometimes Mach·i·a·vel·i·an .
Origin of Machiavellian
First recorded in 1560–70; Machiavelli + -an
OTHER WORDS FROM MachiavellianMach·i·a·vel·li·an·ism, Mach·i·a·vel·i·an·ism, nounMach·i·a·vel·li·an·ly, Mach·i·a·vel·i·an·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use Machiavellian in a sentence
After a parricide, a fratricide was nothing to him, and he executed it with a Machiavellism full of atrocious precautions.The Rebel Chief|Gustave Aimard
That Machiavellism existed before Machiavelli has now become a truism.Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7)|John Addington Symonds
This boastful phrase might have been prompted by the most profound Machiavellism.A Set of Six|Joseph Conrad
It is a truism to say that Machiavellism existed before Machiavelli.Machiavelli, Volume I|Niccol Machiavelli
British Dictionary definitions for Machiavellian
/ (ˌmækɪəˈvɛlɪən) /
adjective (sometimes not capital)
of or relating to the alleged political principles of Machiavelli; cunning, amoral, and opportunist
a cunning, amoral, and opportunist person, esp a politician
Derived forms of MachiavellianMachiavellianism or Machiavellism, nounMachiavellist, adjective, noun
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