American English

Definition of Machiavellian adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (formal) (disapproving)
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  1. 1using intelligent or skillful plans to achieve what you want, without people realizing what you are doing synonym cunning, unscrupulous
  2. 2 Machiavellian manipulation 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 Learner's Dictionary entry: Machiavellian