deus ex machina
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- IPA: /ˈdejəs ɛks ˈmæʃɪnə/
- Any resolution to a story that does not pay due regard to the story's internal logic and that is so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief, and presumably allows the author, director, or developer to end the story in the way that he or she desired
- Oh, now I'm backed into a corner, and can't devise a way out. I could sure use a deus ex machina right about now!
- A contrived solution to a problem, relying on an agent external to the situation.
- We used a sale of the business at a ridiculously high multiple to make the numbers work, a deus ex machina.
|Examples (contrived plot resolution)|
1. The protagonist waking up, realizing it was all a dream.
- The plurals ending in ex machina literally translate to “gods from [one] machine”, whereas the plurals ending in ex machinis literally translate to “gods from machines”; in their usage, these plurals generally retain this distinction in sense, however figuratively.
- dea ex machina (feminine)
contrived plot resolution
contrived solution to a problem
A calque of Ancient Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mêkhanễs theós).