Definition of deus ex machina in English:

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deus ex machina

Pronunciation: /ˌdeɪʊs ɛks ˈmakɪnə/
Pronunciation: /ˌdiːəs ɛks məˈʃiːnə/


An unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.
Example sentences
  • In Racine's account it is this second Iphigenia who sacrifices herself; in this way Racine avoided the deus ex machina of Diana's appearance in Euripides' tragedy.
  • And thus the too-good-to-be-true ending is not only useful flattery of the king, but also a deus ex machina so blatant the author surely wants us to disbelieve it.
  • But for the grace of the deus ex machina, Measure for Measure would have turned into King Lear.


Late 17th century: modern Latin, translation of Greek theos ek mēkhanēs, 'god from the machinery'. In Greek theatre, actors representing gods were suspended above the stage, the denouement of the play being brought about by their intervention.

Words that rhyme with deus ex machina

Adelina, Angelina, arena, Argentina, ballerina, Ballymena, Bettina, Bukovina, Burkina, cantina, Cartagena, casuarina, catena, Christina, cleaner, concertina, congener, contravener, convener, Cortina, demeanour (US demeanor), duodena, Edwina, Ena, farina, Filipina, galena, Georgina, Gina, gleaner, hyena, Ina, intervener, kachina, kina, Magdalena, marina, Martina, Medina, Messalina, Messina, misdemeanour (US misdemeanor), Nina, novena, ocarina, Palestrina, Pasadena, Philomena, piscina, retsina, Rowena, Sabrina, scarlatina, screener, Selina, semolina, Seraphina, Serena, Sheena, signorina, sonatina, subpoena, Taormina, tsarina, verbena, vina, weaner, Wilhelmina, Zena

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: deus ex mach¦ina

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