deus ex machina

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de·us ex ma·chi·na

(dā′əs ĕks mä′kə-nə, -nä′, măk′ə-nə)
n.
1. In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.
2. An unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot.
3. A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.

[New Latin deus ex māchinā : Latin deus, god; see dyeu- in Indo-European roots + Latin ex, from; see eghs in Indo-European roots + Latin māchinā, ablative of māchina, machine; see machine. Translation of Greek theos apo mēkhanēs).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

deus ex machina

(ˈdeɪʊs ɛks ˈmækɪnə)
n
1. (Theatre) (in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the plot
2. (Theatre) any unlikely or artificial device serving this purpose
[literally: god out of a machine, translating Greek theos ek mēkhanēs]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

de•us ex ma•chi•na

(ˈdeɪ əs ɛks ˈmɑ kə nə, ˈdi əs ɛks ˈmæk ə nə)
n.
1. (in classical 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.
[1690–1700; < New Latin, literally, god from a machine (i.e., stage machinery from which a deity's statue was lowered)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

deus ex machina

the device of resolving dramatic action by the introduction of an unexpected, improbable, or forced character or incident.
See also: Drama
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

deus ex machina

A Latin phrase meaning god out of a machine, used to mean a contrived, unlikely solution to a problem.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.deus ex machina - any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an insoluble difficulty
causal agency, causal agent, cause - any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
deus ex machina

deus ex machina

Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
It is therefore evident that the unravelling of the plot, no less than the complication, must arise out of the plot itself, it must not be brought about by the 'Deus ex Machina'--as in the Medea, or in the Return of the Greeks in the Iliad.
It is a testament to Benton as a writer that this novel wears its considerable historical detail so lightly, although the narrative does get bogged down with repetitive descriptions of nursing and a few hard-to-believe deus ex machinas. But in its depiction of a mother's fierce attachment to her child, Lilli de Jong has real resonance in today's battles over women's reproductive health and the rights of working mothers.
Similarly, the criminology seminar is in no way integrated with the rest of the tale -- until a big finish, when the coppers suddenly show up on the underpopulated scene, a batch of deus ex machinas with badges.