Someone who uses cunning and scheming to get what they want, with no regard for morality or other people. The term 'Machiavellian' is inspired by the Italian Renaissance writer Machiavelli's book 'The Prince' which was dedicated to Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, on the Medici family's return to Florence. In writing the book, Machiavelli's aim was to flatter the returning ruler, and perhaps seek some new role for himself (so in this respect, the book itself could be said to be Machiavellian).
Fact of the Day
Elizabeth I could cost her hosts so much on her visits that some tried to shut up their houses and stay away to prevent it. This did no good for the earl of Lincoln: Elizabeth broke into his Chelsea residence, had a feast, and then charged the bill to Lincoln.