Part of speech:
Proper adjective. You always capitalize proper adjectives, like “Korean,” “Shakespearean,” and “Christian.”
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a Machiavellian plan”
2. After a linking verb, as in “The plan was Machiavellian.”)
Something or someone Machiavellian reminds you of Niccolo Machiavelli, the historical ruler famous for his book about how to use lies and evil behavior to remain powerful. So, something or someone Machiavellian is tricky and dishonest for the purpose of gaining something. In other words, when you're being Machiavellian, you'll do anything to get what you want, and you don't care who you have to hurt or lie to in the process.
How to use it:
Talk about Machiavellian politics; Machiavellian control; a Machiavellian plan, plot, strategy, and so on; or a Machiavellian person, attitude, personality, mindset, etc.
In a Machiavellian yet silly attempt to drum up business, the divorce lawyer sent anonymous valentines to married men throughout the city.
Presidential action will always be interpreted as bold by supporters and as Machiavellian by detractors.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You'll know you understand what "Machiavellian" means when you can explain it without saying "dishonest" or "cruel."
Think of an unpleasant, manipulative person, either someone from real life or from a book, movie, or television show, and fill in the blank: “(Person’s) Machiavellian plan to _____ failed when _____.”
Example: “The singer’s Machiavellian plan to bring shame to her ex-boyfriend by writing songs about him failed when his friends simply found them funny.”
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don't go straight to the review now; let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game is "guess the common word based on the given literal root meanings." Try it out each day and see the right answer the next day. It can be fun and illuminating to see the literal meanings of words when they came into the language! More than one right answer might be possible in some cases, just so you know. Also, it's okay if you can't come up with most or even any of the answers on your own; just check out the solutions and you'll learn the roots as you go along this month.
"apart" + "carry" = ?
Try this one today:
"gift" + "noun of action" = ?
A Point Well Made:
"Just 'cause somethin' ain't been done
Don't mean it can't be did."
1. The opposite of MACHIAVELLIAN is
2. Shannon sensed something Machiavellian in her new boyfriend and decided to _____.
A. listen to what he was saying more carefully.
B. invite him to a comic book convention.
C. stop seeing him before she got hurt.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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