Definition of Machiavellian adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌmækiəˈveliən//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌmækiəˈveliən//
(formal, disapproving)
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using clever plans to achieve what you want, without people realizing what you are doing synonym cunning, unscrupulous Machiavellian manipulation There were press accusations of Machiavellian deception. From the name of Niccolò Machiavelli, an Italian politician (1469–1527), who explained in his book The Prince, that it was often necessary for rulers to use immoral methods in order to achieve power and success.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Machiavellian