mach·​i·​na·​tion | \ ˌma-kə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce machination (audio) , ˌma-shə- \

Definition of machination

1 : an act of machinating
2 : a scheming or crafty action or artful design intended to accomplish some usually evil end backstage machinations … that have dominated the film industry— Peter Bogdanovich

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Synonyms for machination


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Choose the Right Synonym for machination

plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

Examples of machination in a Sentence

incredibly complicated machinations to assassinate the president that inevitably failed
Recent Examples on the Web Her villainy has no nuance, no softer depths to be explored, so her machinations and their consequences feels unsatisfying in every way. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Like a Boss is a female buddy comedy in need of a serious makeover: Review," 9 Jan. 2020 Forty Love's brother, who's annoying and clingy and frustrating in his own way, becomes the victim of his own machinations. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Season 2 of Netflix's 'You' Is ... Bloody," 27 Dec. 2019 Far from steadying the crown, as Prime Minister Tony Blair did when the queen misjudged the public mood after the death of Princess Diana in 1997, today’s politicians are drawing her into their own frantic machinations., "LONDON — When Queen Elizabeth II welcomes President Trump and other world leaders to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO, it will be another testament to her extraordinary longevity: She acceded to the throne only three years after the alliance was formed.," 2 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, two business partners of Rudy Giuliani, who were involved in his machinations in Ukraine, were indicted for campaign-finance violations. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 24 Oct. 2019 Other children in the movie are unaware of their parents’ machinations. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Lifetime’s Admissions-Scandal Movie Didn’t Need to Make Anything Up," 16 Oct. 2019 The 22-year-old was optioned July 21 as part of the roster machinations that made room for relievers Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Stammen embraces (new) role; Castillo soon again maybe; Tatis runs into outs," 2 Aug. 2019 With that in mind, here are a few machinations of how a Drummond trade to the Hawks might work: Scenario one: Pistons get: Chandler Parsons, Brooklyn Nets 2020 first-rounder (protected 1-14). Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "What a Detroit Pistons-Atlanta Hawks trade for Andre Drummond could look like," 4 Jan. 2020 In fact, Monstress has taken on a whole new dimension with the addition of Maika Halfwolf’s father, whose secret machinations have apparently been bubbling under the surface of the plot for awhile now. Christian Holub,, "5 comics to read in October, full of old wars and new changes," 2 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of machination

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for machination

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The first known use of machination was in the 15th century

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Statistics for machination

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Machination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on machination

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for machination

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with machination

Spanish Central: Translation of machination

Nglish: Translation of machination for Spanish Speakers

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