deus ex machina

[dey-uh s eks mah-kuh-nuh, dee-uh s eks mak-uh-nuh]
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noun
  1. (in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.
  2. any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.

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. 2018

Related Words for deus ex machina

contrivance, device, gimmick

British Dictionary definitions for deus ex machina

deus ex machina

noun
  1. (in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the plot
  2. 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

Word Origin and History for deus ex machina
n.

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