mach·​i·​nate ˈma-kə-ˌnāt How to pronounce machinate (audio) ˈma-shə- How to pronounce machinate (audio)
machinated; machinating

intransitive verb

: to plan or plot especially to do harm

transitive verb

: to scheme or contrive to bring about : plot
machinator noun

Examples of machinate in a Sentence

a trio of courtiers who were discovered to be machinating against the queen the hackers machinated a way to steal credit numbers from the company's website
Recent Examples on the Web But Cleopatra, still machinating away in Alexandria, couldn’t handle the thought of Herod gaining any further traction in Antony’s affections. Anne Thériault, Longreads, 18 Dec. 2019 Now a new scheme described by ProPublica and The Wall Street Journal involves families seemingly machinating to get an unfair leg up in paying for a coveted seat at a university. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, 30 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'machinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin machinatus, past participle of machinari, from machina machine, contrivance

First Known Use

1537, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of machinate was in 1537

Dictionary Entries Near machinate

Cite this Entry

“Machinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mach·​i·​nate ˈmak-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce machinate (audio) ˈmash-ə- How to pronounce machinate (audio)
machinated; machinating
: plot entry 2 sense 2
especially : to scheme to do harm
machinator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on machinate

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