Definitions for machiavellianism

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word machiavellianism

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Mach•i•a•vel•li•anˌmæk i əˈvɛl i ən(adj.)

  1. of or pertaining to Machiavelli.

    Category: Western History

  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.

    Category: Western History

  3. characterized by unscrupulous cunning, deception, or expediency.

    Category: Western History

  4. (n.)a follower of Machiavelli's principles.

    Category: Western History

Origin of Machiavellian:




Princeton's WordNet

  1. Machiavellianism(noun)

    the political doctrine of Machiavelli: any means (however unscrupulous) can be used by a ruler in order to create and maintain his autocratic government


  1. Machiavellianism(ProperNoun)

    A political philosophy, based on the writings of Machiavelli, especially The Prince, that advocates the use of ruthlessness and duplicity in political dealings.

  2. Machiavellianism(ProperNoun)

    A political maneuver that exemplifies the philosophy.

  3. Machiavellianism(ProperNoun)

    Any ruthless, duplicitous behavior.


  1. Machiavellianism

    Machiavellianism is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct", deriving from the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote Il Principe and other works. The word has a similar use in modern psychology where it describes one of the dark triad personalities, characterised by a duplicitous interpersonal style associated with cynical beliefs and pragmatic morality. "Machiavellian" as a word became very popular in the late 16th century in English, though "Machiavellianism" itself is first cited by the Oxford English Dictionary from 1626.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Machiavellianism

    A personality dimension characterized by the manipulation of others.


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