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An Anglicisation of the Italian surname Machiavelli, as borne by Niccolò Machiavelli.


Machiavel (plural Machiavels)

  1. A person who follows the principles laid down by Niccolò Machiavelli.
  2. A schemer or intriguer.
    • 1988, Susan Mendus, “The Serpent and the Dove”, in Philosophy, LXIII, № 245, page 339:
      The distinction is between the anonymous Continental Op of the detective novel, the man of honour who must nevertheless walk down mean streets, and the thoroughgoing Machiavel, the man who has learned not to be good.
    • ibidem, page 340:
      In pursuit of these ends, agents will find themselves in conflict with morality and we want them to be the sorts of people who can reject morality, yet we don’t want them to be Machiavels in the worst sense.