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

Definition of machinate

intransitive verb

: to plan or plot especially to do harm

transitive verb

: to scheme or contrive to bring about : plot

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from machinate

machinator \ ˈma-​kə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce machinate (audio) , ˈma-​shə-​ \ 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 Web site
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, "Queens of Infamy: Mariamne I," 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, "Trading Custody for Financial Aid," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'machinate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of machinate

1537, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for machinate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about machinate

Time Traveler for machinate

Time Traveler

The first known use of machinate was in 1537

See more words from the same year

Statistics for machinate

Cite this Entry

“Machinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on machinate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for machinate

Nglish: Translation of machinate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on machinate

What made you want to look up machinate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!