from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.
- n. 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.
- n. A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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
- n. A contrived solution to a problem, relying on an agent external to the situation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an insoluble difficulty
New Latin deus ex māchinā : Latin deus, god + Latin ex, from + Latin māchinā, ablative of māchina, machine (translation of Greek theos apo mēkhanēs).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin deus ex māchinā, from deus ("a god") + ex ("from") + machina ("a device, a scaffolding, an artifice") > calque from Ancient Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mêkhanễs theós) (Wiktionary)