dii ex machina

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

dii ex machina

  1. plural form of deus ex machina
    • 1808: The Medical and Physical Journal, vol. XIX (January–June 1808), “Dr. Thomas Beddoes’s Letter to Sir Joseph Banks”, page 469 (William Thorne, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street)
      In what respect ought we to deem a London education (equal in time and diligence) with a St. Andrew’s diploma, inferior to an Edinburgh education and diploma? In what but the interposition of the grinders, those dii ex machina in the great scene of Edinburgh Doctor dubbing.
    • 1891: Viktor Rydberg and Rasmus B. Anderson (translator), Teutonic Mythology, page 182 (2004 reprint; Kessinger Publishing; ISBN 0766188914, 9780766188914)
      Odin might himself have saved his favourite, and he might have slain Svipdag’s son Asmund with his spear Gunguer; but he does not do so; instead, he brings Vagnhofde to protect him. This is well calculated from an epic standpoint, while dii ex machina, when they appear in person on the battle-field with their superhuman strength, diminish the effect of the deeds of mortal heroes, and deprive every distress in which they have taken part of its most earnest significance. Homer never violated this rule without injury to the honour either of his gods or of his heroes.
    • 1995: Ioan Williams, George Meredith: the critical heritage, page 204 (Routledge; ISBN 041513465X, 978‒0415134651)
      For when a book is of absorbing interest without a single startling incident, without a murder, without even an elopement (except a very minor one mentioned in the first chapter), and deprived of the adventitious aids of railway accidents, shipwrecks, or other dii ex machina, we may be sure that there is much nature and much thought in it. Were there not it must infallibly be dull, and The Egoist is never dull.