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


  • The Fiver | A toxic Machiavellian egomaniac
    Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arriving ETO'O, JOSÉ? The Fiver knows how the Special One feels. Not because we slyly rub ourselves up against him at press conferences like flea-bitten dogs against sofas, but in the sense that we empathise with what he is going through. Not because we too Read more on this news related to 'Machiavellian'
  • Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Richard III
    The Sherlock star has followed in the footsteps of his co-star Martin Freeman—who will also play the Machiavellian king in another project—in detective series to be adapted for television by the BBC and executive produced by Sam Mendes Read more on this news related to 'Machiavellian'
  • MP Nigel Evans: Accuser Is 'Machiavellian' Liar
    Former deputy speaker Nigel Evans has described a man who he is accused of sexually assaulting as a "Machiavellian" liar. Evans, independent MP for Ribble Valley, is accused of putting his hand inside the alleged victim's boxer shorts while the man slept on a sofa at his constituency home in Pendleton, Lancashire. During police questioning, the MP wa Read more on this news related to 'Machiavellian'

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