from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The political doctrine of Machiavelli, which denies the relevance of morality in political affairs and holds that craft and deceit are justified in pursuing and maintaining political power.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A political philosophy, based on the writings of Machiavelli, especially The Prince, that advocates the use of ruthlessness and duplicity in political dealings.
- n. A political maneuver that exemplifies the philosophy.
- n. Any ruthless, duplicitous behavior.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The principles or system of statesmanship of Machiavelli; the political doctrines attributed to Machiavelli—namely, the pursuit of success at any price, and the systematic subordination of right to expediency (see Machiavellian, n.); the theory that all means may be justifiably employed, however unlawful and treacherous in themselves, for the establishment and maintenance of the authority of the ruler over his subjects; political cunning and unscrupulous artifice.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the political doctrine of Machiavelli: any means (however unscrupulous) can be used by a ruler in order to create and maintain his autocratic government
Machiavellian + -ism (Wiktionary)