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deus ex machina

1. A god in an ancient Greek or Roman play that suddenly appears in the storyline in order to solve a problem or decide an outcome. The Latin phrase translates to "god from a machine," referring to the machinery that lowered it onto the stage. The ancient Greek play makes use of a deus ex machina in which Apollo arrives on stage to restore order among the other characters.
2. An ending in a performance or story that seems too contrived to be believable to the audience. Modern critics often pan 1980s-era television shows for the typical deus ex machina that writers often used to neatly wrap up episodes.
See also: deus, ex, machina

a deus ex machina

  (formal)
a way of ending a play or event that seems false and that involves problems being dealt with too easily Shakespeare produces a very unsatisfying deus ex machina in 'The Winter's Tale' when a statue of the queen comes to life.
See also: deus, ex, machina

ex cathedra

  (formal)
if someone speaks ex cathedra or makes an ex cathedra statement, they say something in an official way as if it must be obeyed or accepted His policy pronouncements made ex cathedra angered many of his colleagues.
See also: ex

ex gratia

an ex gratia payment is one which someone makes in order to show that they are kind and not because it is legally necessary (always before noun) The company has refused to admit it acted unlawfully but it has offered the victims an ex gratia payment of £5,000 each.
See also: ex

ex

(ɛks)
n. a former spouse or lover. My ex is in town, but we don’t talk much anymore.