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


conspiracy, design, intrigue, plot, scheme

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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

Every machination of Washington, D.C., is breathlessly hyped like destruction’s eve. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Nobody Believes in Tom Brady. Or Something Like That.," 31 Jan. 2019 Dwelling on plot machinations isn’t the best way to delve into Suspiria, however, because Guadagnino and screenwriter David Kajganich are less interested in the characters and storylines than in the atmosphere and mood. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Suspiria is an ambitious remix of a horror classic," 26 Oct. 2018 But Blackstone’s machinations seem to have broken the spirit, rather than the letter, of the rules. The Economist, "A bondholder finds a sneaky way to trigger insurance against default," 3 May 2018 The Walking Dead used to be really interested in the impact of the extraordinary on the ordinary machinations of life, and for me, that was the show’s most compelling aspect. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s midseason finale got the show back on track," 26 Nov. 2018 But the Brewers’ scheme established a new standard for bizarre and unexpected machinations in a matchup in which the maneuverings on the bench almost rival the action on the field. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "The Brewers, Dodgers Take Lineup Shuffle to the Next Level," 18 Oct. 2018 Obviously, hyper-convoluted plot machinations can work if the film itself has enough momentum to propel the audience through it all, or if there’s some larger, overriding theme or sentiment tying it all together. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Predator could have been the franchise’s chance to finally have an identity," 8 Sep. 2018 Carroll is a winningly warm presence as Miranda, the lonely daughter who falls for the castaway Ferdinand (a suitably dashing Sam Avishay), thanks to her mom’s machinations. James Hebert,, "'Tempest' a satisfying whirl of wit and wizardry at Old Globe," 24 June 2018 Keener’s performance keeps the film grounded even as blunt scenes of the opposing camp’s machinations flirt with soap opera villainy. Tom Russo,, "It’s David vs. Goliath in ‘Little Pink House’," 2 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near machination






machine bolt

machine buff

Statistics for machination

Last Updated

2 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for machination

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on machination

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with machination

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for machination

Spanish Central: Translation of machination

Nglish: Translation of machination for Spanish Speakers

Comments on machination

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


having no equal

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