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  • Noun

machination

mak-uh-NAY-shuhn

Context
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Maeve sought to control others in her social circle with a clever system of machination that included power plays and other scheming plots. She spread rumors and used machination or dishonest strategic actions to convince people that her invented stories were true. Her cruel machinations or secretive plans were soon exposed when those around her realized painfully that Maeve’s kindness was only a show to trick them all.

Quiz: What are machinations?

  • Plots and schemes to influence others.
  • Fake rumors spread about others.
  • Feelings of control and power.

Memory Hook
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Machine Fascination Hackers use clever machinations to control others through hacking into their computer machines; this fascination for machine destruction is a form of machination that makes us all suffer.

Examples
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  • The admission by Vitol marked a turning point in a major investigation into wrongdoing by various commodity traders and exposed the inner machinations of an industry long-dogged by allegations of fraud. —Reuters
  • While the big data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels have drawn heavy news coverage, the everyday machinations of various specialists in the cyberunderground remain out of sight and out of mind to most people. . . . [C]ybercriminal gangs from Cyprus, UK and India are known for purchasing stolen credit card numbers on the black market, and making fraudulent $9.84 charges. —USA Today
  • As it turns out, it was likely Wentz’s final performance with the Eagles. Expectations around the league are that Wentz will be traded soon, perhaps this week. . . . For now, as the machinations of a probable trade play out in Philadelphia, much of the league continues to wonder what exactly went haywire for Wentz? —Chicago Tribune
  • [Fairy godmother] Charity has helped more than a handful of Cindies (Cinderellas) during her time at Jack London High, the most recent being Vindhya Chandramouli, the STEM star who dreamed of becoming homecoming queen. But Charity's machinations have been found out by the overly-observant Noah. . . . See, Noah was an unwitting victim of Charity's help when she tried to make a girl named Holly's dreams come true. —NPR

Word Ingredients
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machin plan, trick, artifice
-ation act of doing something

Machination is the “act of planning against” or “tricking” someone.

Word Theater
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Aladdin Will Jafar's machinations make him sultan?
Machination

Word Constellation
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Machination