deus ex machina
[dey-uh s eks mah-kuh-nuh, dee-uh s eks mak-uh-nuh]
(in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.
any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.
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Origin of deus ex machina
1690–1700; < New Latin literally, god from a machine (i.e., stage machinery from which a deity's statue was lowered), as translation of Greek apò mēchanês theós (Demosthenes), theòs ek mēchanês (Menander), etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
deus ex machina
(in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the plot
any unlikely or artificial device serving this purpose
Word Origin for deus ex machina
literally: god out of a machine, translating Greek theos ek mēkhanēs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
1690s, from Modern Latin translation of Greek theos ek mekhanes, literally "the god from the machina," the device by which "gods" were suspended over the stage in Greek theater (see machine). The fem. is dea ex machina.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper