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μηχᾰν-ή, Dor. μᾱχᾰνά, ἡ, (μῆχος):

I. contrivance, esp. machine for lifting weights and the like , crane, Hdt.2.125, IG11(2).161 A69, al. (Delos, iii B. C.); μ. τετράκωλος, δίκωλος, Rev.Phil.44.251 (Didyma, ii B. C.); μ. λιθαγωγός Poll. 10.148; ἰχθυβόλῳ μ., of Poseidon's trident, A.Th.132 (lyr.); λαοπόροις μ., of Xerxes' bridge of boats, Id.Pers.114 (lyr.), cf. 722; freq. of irrigation machines, POxy.985 (i A. D.), etc.; also of oil-presses, Wilcken Chr.176.10 (i/ii A. D.), etc.

2. engine of war, μηχανὰς προσάγειν Th.2.76, etc.; ἑλεῖν μηχαναῖς Id.4.13.

3. theatrical machine by which gods, etc., were made to appear in the air, Pl.Cra.425d, Clit.407a; αἴρειν μ. Antiph.191.15, Alex.126.19: hence, prov. of anything sudden and unexpected, ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεὸς ἐπεφάνης Men. 227; ὥσπερ ἀπὸ μ. D.40.59, cf. Arist.Po.1454b1.

4. area of land irrigated by a machine, POxy.1830.13 (vi A. D.), PLond.5.1765 (vi A. D.), PSI1.77.14 (vi A. D.).

II. any artificial means or contrivance for doing a thing, ἤτοι κλήρῳ .., ἢ ἄλλῃ τινὶ μ. Hdt.3.83; εἴ τίς ἐστι μ., ἴθι καὶ πειρῶ Id.8.57, etc.; esp. in pl. μηχαναί, shifts, devices, wiles, Hes.Th. 146; πάντα σοφίσματα καὶ πάσας μ. ἐπεποιήκεε ἐς αὐτοὺς Δαρεῖος Hdt. 3.152; μηχαναῖς Διός by the arts of Zeus, A.Ag.677; χερὸς ..ἐκτίνοντα μηχανάς acts of violence, ib.1582; Ὀρέστην μηχαναῖσι μὲν θανόντα, νῦν δὲ μηχαναῖς σεσωσμένον S.El.1228; κρατεῖ μαχαναῖς ..θηρός Id.Ant.349 (lyr.); σοφιστῶν μ. Pl.Lg.908d: prov., μηχαναὶ Σισύφου Ar.Ach.391:—
Phrases: πάσας προσφέροντε μ. E.IT112; μηχανὴν προσοιστέον Ar.Th.1132; πᾶσαν σπουδὴν καὶ μ. προσφερόμενος Plb.1.18.11; ἐπεισήγαγον μ. Id.29.25.1; μηχανὰς εὑρήσομεν, ὥστε ἀπαλλάξαι A.Eu.82; πλέκειν E.Andr.66; πορίζεσθαι Pl.Smp. 191b; ἐκπορίζειν Ar.V.365; ζητεῖν ib.149; ἀντλεῖν μαχανάν exhaust one's resources, Pi.P.3.62; κατ' ἐμὰν μ. ib.109: c. gen. objecti, ἔξευρε μ. τιν' Ἀδμήτῳ κακῶν contrivance against ills, E.Alc.221 (lyr.); but μ. σωτηρίας a way, means of procuring or providing safety, A. Th.209; μυρίων οὐσῶν μ. ἀπαλλαγῆς X.Cyr.5.1.12; οὐδεμία μ. [ἐστι] ὅκως οὐ c. fut. ind., Hdt.2.160; μὴ οὐ c. inf., ib. 181, 3.51; τὸ μὴ οὐ (prob.) Id.1.209; τίς μ. μὴ οὐχὶ ..; Pl.Phd.72d.

2. freq. in adverb. phrases, μηδεμιῇ μ. by no means whatsoever, by no contrivance, Hdt. 7.51, etc.; οὓς οὐδεμιῇ μ. δεῖ τιτρώσκειν Hp.Art.11; so μήτε τέχνῃ μήτε μ. μηδεμιᾷ Foed. ap. Th.5.18, cf. IG12.39.23; opp. πάσῃ τέχνῃ καὶ μ. Lys. 19.53; πάσῃ μ. Ar.Lys.300 (lyr.); τρόπῳ ἢ μ. ᾑτινιοῦν Lex ap.D.21.113.