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 The Wuhan Institute of Virology joins the grassy knoll and Area 51 as a portal into the dark universe of secret machinations. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Vector in Chief," 29 Apr. 2020 Netanyahu, who is days away from a too-close-to-call election, has based his campaign largely on warnings of Iran's destabilizing machinations in the region. Anchorage Daily News, "Iran denies carrying out crippling attacks on Saudi oil facilities," 15 Sep. 2019 The Milwaukee Bucks don't have a draft pick Thursday night in the NBA draft, but who knows what sort of trade machinations will play out that lands a member of the 2019 class on the Bucks roster? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Did you remember that the Milwaukee Bucks drafted these guys?," 20 June 2019 Dissent, on the other hand, is viewed as only harmful to the nation, leaving it again vulnerable to the machinations of foreign powers. Popular Science, "Here’s China’s massive plan to retool the web," 4 Oct. 2018 My fiction is all about the machinations of family, or what passes for family. Robin Antalek, Longreads, "The Bigamist’s Daughter," 22 Apr. 2020 Any brief reprieve nature experiences now would quickly be overrun when life resumes and our industrial machinations fire back up again. Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020 Political analyst Taras Semenyuk of KyivStratPro, a strategic consultancy firm in Kyiv, said the American political machinations and the secret negotiations by Ukrainian officials with Parnas and others had damaged Ukraine's reputation. Robyn Dixon, David L. Stern, Natalie Gryvnyak, Anchorage Daily News, "Lev Parnas’ feverish text messages show his wide reach among Ukraine’s oligarchs and political elite," 20 Jan. 2020 Ronald Reagan’s presidency was tainted by the Iran-contra affair, George W. Bush’s presidency was demoralized by Iranian machinations in Iraq, and negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program consumed the latter part of Barack Obama’s presidency. Karim Sadjadpour, Time, "Why the U.S. Assassination of Soleimani is a Windfall for Iran's Mullahs," 9 Jan. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for machination

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Machination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 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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