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See more synonyms for machination on Thesaurus.com
  1. an act or instance of machinating.
  2. Usually machinations. crafty schemes; plots; intrigues.
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Origin of machination

1375–1425; late Middle English machinacion < Latin māchinātiōn- (stem of māchinātiō). See machinate, -ion
Related formsan·ti·mach·i·na·tion, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for machination

Historical Examples

  • The protest of the church was of no avail to defeat the machination of demagogues.

    A History of American Christianity

    Leonard Woolsey Bacon

  • All MacTaggart's anger rose against madame for her machination.

    Doom Castle

    Neil Munro

  • Disunion is at the bottom of this long-concealed Texas machination.

  • It is pleasant to record that all this match-making and machination came to naught.

  • It was not the machination or revenge of a disappointed suitor.

British Dictionary definitions for machination


  1. an intrigue, plot, or scheme
  2. the act of devising plots or schemes
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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 machination


late 15c., "a plotting, intrigue," from Old French machinacion "plot, conspiracy, scheming, intrigue," from Latin machinationem (nominative machinatio) "device, contrivance, machination," noun of action from past participle stem of machinari "contrive skillfully, to design; to scheme, to plot," from machina (see machine). Related: Machinations.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper