deus ex machina

de·us ex ma·chi·na

noun \ˈdā-əs-ˌeks-ˈmä-ki-nə, -ˈma-, -ˌnä; -mə-ˈshē-nə\

: a character or thing that suddenly enters the story in a novel, play, movie, etc., and solves a problem that had previously seemed impossible to solve

Full Definition of DEUS EX MACHINA

:  a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome
:  a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty


New Latin, a god from a machine, translation of Greek theos ek mēchanēs
First Known Use: 1697

deus ex machina

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Stage device in Greek and Roman drama in which a god appeared in the sky by means of a crane (Greek, mechane) to resolve the plot of a play. Plays by Sophocles and particularly Euripides sometimes require the device. The term now denotes something that appears suddenly and unexpectedly and provides an artificial solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.


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