deus ex machina love

deus ex machina

Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

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Comments

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  • As in the trick Scott Adams' employs of having some improbable solution arrive at the end of the Drunken Lemurs Strike Back story:

    http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2008/02/drunken-lemurs.html

    March 10, 2008

  • Once again with the lemur-libelling. What is *wrong* with you people?

    OK, I probably should link to the relevant discussion so that people can understand this comment, but I've forgotten who had the 'this is not a Christmas word' list. No, wait - here it is!

    March 11, 2008

  • Good grief, sionnach--how could you have forgotten that it was chained_bear? No one's as weird--er...as creative--at such lists.

    March 11, 2008

  • as per dictionary.com: "an agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an apparently insoluble difficulty." fabulous.

    April 8, 2008

  • When World War Two ended with Atomic Bombs, those Atomic Bombs were the ultimate Deus ex machina...

    June 21, 2009

  • Perhaps, this is why that moment in "The Two Towers", when awash in golden light, Gandalf and the Rohirrim arrive in deus ex machina fashion is on my top ten list of movie-manipulated affects.

    January 22, 2018