Skip to main content
Select Source:

deus ex machina

deus ex machina an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel. The phrase is modern Latin, a direct translation of Greek theos ek mēkhanēs ‘god from the machinery’, since in Greek theatre, actors representing gods were suspended above the stage, the denouement of the play being brought about by their intervention.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"deus ex machina." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"deus ex machina." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/deus-ex-machina

"deus ex machina." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/deus-ex-machina

Deus ex machina

Deus ex machina (Lat., ‘God out of the machine’). The device in classical theatre of bringing God on to the stage and into the action to resolve a problem in the plot; hence the introduction of an artificial solution to a problem.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Deus ex machina." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Deus ex machina." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/deus-ex-machina

"Deus ex machina." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/deus-ex-machina

Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina

See God of the Gaps; Skyhooks

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Deus Ex Machina." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Deus Ex Machina." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/deus-ex-machina

"Deus Ex Machina." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/deus-ex-machina

deus ex machina

deus ex machinaabstainer, arcana, campaigner, Cana, caner, cantilena, complainer, container, detainer, drainer, entertainer, explainer, Gaenor, gainer, Gaynor, grainer, Jena, Lena, maintainer, Marlene, N'Djamena, obtainer, ordainer, planar, planer, profaner, Rayner, retainer, scena, seiner, Sinn Feiner, strainer, sustainer, trainer, uniplanar •straightener •Adelina, Angelina, arena, Argentina, ballerina, Ballymena, Bettina, Bukovina, Burkina, cantina, Cartagena, casuarina, catena, Christina, cleaner, concertina, congener, contravener, convener, Cortina, demeanour (US demeanor), deus ex machina, 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, wiener, Wilhelmina, Zena •sweetener • pipecleaner

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"deus ex machina." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"deus ex machina." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/deus-ex-machina-0

"deus ex machina." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/deus-ex-machina-0