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 whole machination is pretty much based on a semblance of supply and demand. Lance Eliot, Forbes, "Self-Driving Cars Aiming To Change Our Most Favorite Of Car Colors," 20 Mar. 2021 Opening night also lacked the sense of danger that should hang over every machination. Matthew J. Palm,, "Ensemble Company’s ‘Liaisons Dangereuses’ needs more danger | Review," 7 Nov. 2020 The legal filing is the latest machination that may affect absentee voting this year, a process more than 3 million Michiganders are expected to use to cast their ballots this fall. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Republicans sue to block Michigan ruling on late absentee ballots, who can return ballots," 25 Sep. 2020 After weeks of hand wringing, private machination and public dysfunction, the league is ready to power its biggest revenue driver back up again. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "Big Ten football re-start addresses the concerns of IU football coach Tom Allen," 17 Sep. 2020 The former Ambassador, Masha Yovanovitch, had been treated poorly, caught in a web of political machinations both in Kyiv and in Washington. Stefan Becket, CBS News, "Top diplomat tells lawmakers Ukraine aid was directly tied to investigations," 22 Oct. 2019 The inner machinations of the Church—conservative hardliners versus moderates—are the subject of a longer essay, but the point is that no one can be trusted. Mary Beth Keane, Vogue, "Amid Scandal After Scandal, One Catholic Mother Faces A Painful Choice," 6 Dec. 2018 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

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

27 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Machination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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