Deus-ex-machina meaning

dāəs ĕks mäkə-nə, -nä, măkə-nə
In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.
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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.
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A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.
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In ancient Greek and Roman plays, a deity brought in by stage machinery to intervene in the action.
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Any unconvincing character or event brought artificially into the plot of a story or drama to settle an involved situation.
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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!

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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.

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Origin of deus-ex-machina

  • New Latin deus ex māchinā Latin deus god dyeu- in Indo-European roots Latin ex from eghs in Indo-European roots Latin māchinā ablative of māchina machine machine (Translation of Greek theos apo mēkhanēs)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin deus ex māchinā, from deus (“a god”) + ex (“from”) + machina (“a device, a scaffolding, an artifice”), a calque of Ancient Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mêkhanễs theós).

    From Wiktionary