To machinate is to scheme or plan something. You might, for example, machinate a way to defeat the more popular candidate in an election for school president.

You can use the verb machinate in two ways: to arrange or plan in a carefully detailed way, or to plot in an equally careful but somewhat sneaky or underhanded way. While a teacher might machinate to best organize and inspire her class, a movie villain also machinates in order to defeat the hero. Both meanings come from the same root, the noun machination, "plotting or intrigue," which is ultimately rooted in the Latin machina, "device or machine."

Definitions of machinate
  1. verb
    arrange by systematic planning and united effort
    machinate a plot”
    synonyms: devise, get up, organise, organize, prepare
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    mount, put on
    prepare and supply with the necessary equipment for execution or performance
    prepare or position for action or operation
    set up
    begin, or enable someone else to begin, a venture by providing the means, logistics, etc.
    make into a sandwich
    prepare for eating if or as if a spatchcock
    prepare for battle or conflict
    rerun a performance of a play, for example
    type of:
    initiate, pioneer
    take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of
  2. verb
    engage in plotting or enter into a conspiracy, swear together
    synonyms: cabal, complot, conjure, conspire
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    conspire together
    type of:
    plan secretly, usually something illegal
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