Machiavellian

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Machiavellian'

Machiavellian Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    Machiavellian adj : of or relating to Machiavelli or the principles of conduct he recommended; "Machiavellian thinking"
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Machiavellian'


Machiavellianism is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct", deriving from the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe (The Prince) and other works. "Machiavellian" (and variants) as a word became very popular in the late 16th century in English, though "Machiavellianism" itself is first cited by the OED from 1626. The word has a similar use in modern psychology.

Machiavellianism was seen as a foreign plague infecting English politics, originating in Italy, and having already infected France. It was in this context that the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572 in Paris came to be seen as a product of Machiavellianism, a view greatly influenced by the Huguenot Innocent Gentillet, who published his Discours contre Machievel in 1576, which was printed in ten editions in three languages over the next four years.

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Machiavellian Sample Sentences in News


  • Sacked CEO seeks revenge
    A SACKED chief executive is teaching everyone a lesson in Machiavellian business moves. He is oh-so-close to wresting control of the company back. Read more on this news related to 'Machiavellian'
  • Emmys 2014: Kevin Spacey calls now 'an exciting moment' for TV
    Kevin Spacey, who plays Francis Underwood, the Machiavellian Democrat in “House of Cards,” was on set in Baltimore shooting the third season of the show when he heard he'd received an Emmy nomination for best actor in a drama series. It's exactly where we found him last year after he was... Read more on this news related to 'Machiavellian'
  • Russia vetoes House of Cards from filming at UN
    The bard himself could not have written the scene better: Frank Underwood, the Machiavellian mastermind of House of Cards, in the United Nations security council chamber and seated at the table where the world's superpowers have debated the fate of nations. Read more on this news related to 'Machiavellian'

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