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Machiavellian

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Definition relating to Niccolo Machiavelli's principles; i.e., the use of deception and manipulation without concern for morals in order to achieve a desired goal — especially a political goal
  • I worry about her Machiavellian thinking.
Machiavellian = relating to Niccolo Machiavelli's principles; i.e., the use of deception and manipulation without concern for morals in order to achieve a desired goal
  • I can hear the tenors soaring in triumph and the Machiavellian bassos slinking offstage in defeat.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • I admit: I'm either an incurable romantic or a bit Machiavellian.
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • Clement's Machiavellian operation came off with clockwork precision.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • "That's a very Machiavellian speech; it doesn't deserve an answer.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • Miss Lavish gave a Machiavellian smile.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • Adams remained adamantly opposed, convinced Howe was up to "Machiavellian maneuvers."
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • How could anyone be so admittedly Machiavellian in the presence of a proposed victim?
    Roger Zelazny  --  Nine Princes in Amber
  • "That's a very Machiavellian speech; it doesn't deserve an answer.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Because a world has need of your humility, your piety, your great teaching and your Machiavellian scheming.
    Roger Zelazny  --  Lord of Light
  • Just a few short weeks after being named attorney general, Bobby Kennedy received a special file from J. Edgar Hoover, the pug-nosed and Machiavellian head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • So this Machiavellian captain of infantry cast about him for some happy means or stratagem by which he could gently and gradually bring the Misses Osborne to a knowledge of their brother's secret.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • In response, George Johnstone, a dashing figure who had once served as governor of West Florida, delivered one of the longest, most vehement declamations of the night, exclaiming, "Every Machiavellian policy is now to be vindicated towards the people of America."
    David G. McCullough  --  1776
  • That land which knows not truth," he continued with Machiavellian subtlety, "that land of infinite fiction makes bad reading for any boy; and is certainly not what I should choose or recommend for my young friend here, who is already so much inclined to melancholy, for a heart already predisposed to receive its impressions.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann's Way
  • The artful diplomatist and disciple of the Machiavellian Binkie!
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair

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