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Machiavellian

[mak-ee-uh-vel-ee-uh n] /ˌmæk i əˈvɛl i ən/
adjective
1.
of, like, or befitting Machiavelli.
2.
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.
3.
characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty:
He resorted to Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead.
noun
4.
a follower of the principles analyzed or described in The Prince, especially with reference to techniques of political manipulation.
Also, Machiavelian.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; Machiavelli + -an
Related forms
Machiavellianism, Machiavellism, noun
Machiavellianly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Machiavellian

Machiavellian

/ˌmækɪəˈvɛlɪən/
adjective (sometimes not capital)
1.
of or relating to the alleged political principles of Machiavelli; cunning, amoral, and opportunist
noun
2.
a cunning, amoral, and opportunist person, esp a politician
Derived Forms
Machiavellianism, Machiavellism, noun
Machiavellist, 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
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Word Origin and History for Machiavellian
adj.

"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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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