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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