from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.
- noun 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.
- noun A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun 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
- noun 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.
- noun any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an insoluble difficulty
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
[New 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).]
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
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)
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