deus ex machinade·us ex ma·chi·na
- in ancient Greek and Roman plays, a deity brought in by stage machinery to intervene in the action
- any unconvincing character or event brought artificially into the plot of a story or drama to settle an involved situation
Origin of deus ex machinaL, god from a machine
deus ex machina
- In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.
- 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.
- A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.
Origin of deus ex machinaNew 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 )
(plural dei ex machina or dei ex machinis)
- Any resolution to a story that does not pay due regard to the story's internal logic and that is so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief, and presumably allows the author, director, or developer to end the story in the way that he or she desired
- Oh, now I'm backed into a corner, and can't devise a way out. I could sure use a deus ex machina right about now!
- A contrived solution to a problem, relying on an agent external to the situation.
- We used a sale of the business at a ridiculously high multiple to make the numbers work, a deus ex machina.
- Rarely, the plurals dii ex machina, di ex machina, dii ex machinis and di ex machinis are found.
- The plurals ending in ex machina literally translate to “gods from a machine”, whereas the plurals ending in ex machinis literally translate to “gods from machines”; in their usage, these plurals generally retain this distinction in sense, however figuratively.