deus ex machina

[dey-uhs eks mah-kuh-nuh, dee-uhs eks mak-uh-nuh]

Stage device in Greek and Roman drama in which a god appeared in the sky by means of a crane (Greek, mechane) to resolve the plot of a play. Plays by Sophocles and particularly Euripides sometimes require the device. The term now denotes something that appears suddenly and unexpectedly and provides an artificial solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.

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