Words at Play : Top 10 Unusually Long and Interesting Words, Vol. 1

#5: Machiavellianism

Definition:

the view that politics is amoral and that any means, however unscrupulous, can justifiably be used in achieving political power

About the word:

In 1513, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote Il Principe ("The Prince") to advise and impress the new Florentine ruler, Prince Lorenzo de' Medici. The book's instructions on obtaining and wielding power – e.g., "It is better to be feared than loved" – suggest the cynicism that gave its author a place in the language.

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