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Machiavellian Syllabification: Mach·i·a·vel·li·an
Pronunciation: /ˌmäkēəˈvelēən/

Definition of Machiavellian in English:


1Cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics or in advancing one’s career.
Example sentences
  • At best, bottle blondes are equated with an artifice - think Pamela Anderson, Melinda Messenger - and at worst, deceitfulness and Machiavellian scheming.
  • But however astute or realist Burnham's Machiavellian insight into power politics was, he rarely showed any capacity for canny negotiation himself.
  • Here, of course, was a classic case of Machiavellian politics: the attempt to bend the will of the party to his view by fair means or foul.
2Of or relating to Niccolò Machiavelli.
Example sentences
  • It must be realized, however, that the notion of Machiavellian intelligence was at that time still vague and ill-formed.
  • As political theorist Sheldon Wolin once characterized Machiavellian government, it promises the ‘economy of politics.’
  • The Machiavellian Moment raised a thousand issues, settled two or three, and gave historians and philosophers a generation's work.


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A person who schemes in a Machiavellian way.
Example sentences
  • As Sartre admitted in his eulogy, ‘He reaffirmed the existence of moral fact within the heart of our era… against the Machiavellians, against the golden calf of realism.’
  • And why have these Machiavellians become idealists?
  • Successful Machiavellians are far more interesting than the ones who botch it up or do it so obviously that they some how lose the Machiavellian nature of it in the process!


Pronunciation: /ˌmäkēəˈvelēəˌnizəm/ /ˌmäkēəˈvelyəˌnizəm/
Example sentences
  • Since loyalty is the only game in town, these ‘loyal cadres’ do not feed the reflection of the state or bureaucracy, but the Machiavellianism of the state.
  • But Italy still has a streak of sporting Machiavellianism a mile wide, and his prospects of staying the course remain in the balance.
  • He should be taught as a study in Machiavellianism to future generations.

Words that rhyme with Machiavellian

Chellean, Orwellian, Sabellian, Trevelyan, triskelion
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