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Machiavellian

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it.
Thomas Hobbes
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English

Etymology

From the name of the Italian statesman and writer Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), whose work The Prince (1532) advises that acquiring and exercising power may require unethical methods.

Pronunciation

Adjective

Machiavellian (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
Machiavellian

Comparative
{{{1}}}

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. Attempting to achieve their goals by cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous methods.
    Iago is the Machiavellian antagonist in William Shakespeare's play, Othello.
  2. Related to the philosophical system of Niccolò Machiavelli.
    • 2006, Mark Vernon, Philosophy and Life, "Plato or Machiavelli",
      It is Machiavellian, in the sense that it revolves around the question of how to maintain power.

Derived terms

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