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 There were one-off issues, such as a brief team-up with Hal’s old ally Green Arrow, but also an overarching story arc about the machinations of the Blackstars, culminating in the events of the current miniseries. Christian Holub,, "The Green Lantern team previews 'season 2' of their mind-blowing comic," 14 Nov. 2019 Meeropol has a more than casual relationship to her subject; her grandparents Julius and Ethel Rosenberg went to the electric chair thanks in no small part to Cohn's machinations. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn': Film Review | NYFF 2019," 1 Oct. 2019 Even the behind-the-scenes legal machinations carry some political intrigue. Gilbert Garcia,, "Warring Bexar County Dems could be headed for truce," 7 Dec. 2019 That change began with the emergence of press reports critical of Ambassador Yovanovitch and machinations by Mr. Lutsenko and others to discredit her. CBS News, "Read David Holmes' full opening statement in impeachment inquiry," 15 Nov. 2019 Interest in the long-dormant case was rekindled last November when the Miami Herald published Perversion of Justice, a series of stories examining the machinations behind the non-prosecution agreement. al, "Jeffrey Epstein was likely murdered, famous pathologist says," 30 Oct. 2019 That so lofty a goal might be debased by Giuliani’s machinations to influence U.S. elections disgusted some of these officials. Steve Coll, The New Yorker, "Impeachment Goes Public," 3 Nov. 2019 The Iran hostage crisis ended Jimmy Carter’s presidency; Iran-contra tainted Ronald Reagan’s presidency; Iranian machinations in post-Saddam Iraq exhausted George W. Bush’s presidency. Karim Sadjadpour, Time, "Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Is One Despot Trump Might Not Win Over," 3 Oct. 2019 But put simply: The familiar machinations with which the majority of successful coaches operate in the NFL today can almost all be derived from the behavior of Brown. The Si Staff,, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for machination

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Machination.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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

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).


to insert between existing elements

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