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