Meaning of Machiavelli, Niccolò in English:

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Pronunciation /ˌmakɪəˈvɛli/

proper noun

  • (1469–1527), Italian statesman and political philosopher; full name Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. His best-known work is The Prince (1532), which advises rulers that the acquisition and effective use of power may necessitate unethical methods.


(also a Machiavelli)
  • A person perceived as prepared to use unethical means to gain an advantage.

    ‘Unfortunately, junior Machiavellis claiming to wear the white hat still are running amok among us.’
    • ‘And the latter-day Machiavellis saw potentially great political significance in the timing of turning points.’
    • ‘Yet, here he was enduring heat, bugs and primitive conditions and all the while utilizing the manipulative skills of a Machiavelli.’
    • ‘Three years later those same critics are describing him as a Machiavelli bent on a ‘radical’ agenda at home and abroad.’
    • ‘Lock becomes the possum caught in the headlights, fascinated and appalled by a Machiavelli she both loved and feared.’