Synonyms of machination

a secret plan for accomplishing evil or unlawful ends
  • incredibly complicated machinations to assassinate the president that inevitably failed

Synonyms for machination

Words Related to machination

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Frequently Asked Questions About machination

How does the noun machination differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of machination are cabal, conspiracy, intrigue, and plot. While all these words mean "a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end," machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means.

the machinations of a party boss

Where would cabal be a reasonable alternative to machination?

Although the words cabal and machination have much in common, cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence.

a cabal among powerful senators

In what contexts can conspiracy take the place of machination?

While the synonyms conspiracy and machination are close in meaning, conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery.

a conspiracy to fix prices

When might intrigue be a better fit than machination?

While in some cases nearly identical to machination, intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity.

backstairs intrigue

When is plot a more appropriate choice than machination?

The words plot and machination can be used in similar contexts, but plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme.

an assassination plot

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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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Cite this Entry

“Machination.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on machination

Nglish: Translation of machination for Spanish Speakers


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