contraption


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Related to contraption: Rube Goldberg

con·trap·tion

 (kən-trăp′shən)
n.
A mechanical device; a gadget.

[Perhaps mock-Latinate blend of contrive and trap.]

contraption

(kənˈtræpʃən)
n
informal often facetious or derogatory a device or contrivance, esp one considered strange, unnecessarily intricate, or improvised
[C19: perhaps from con(trivance) + trap1 + (inven)tion]

con•trap•tion

(kənˈtræp ʃən)

n.
a mechanical contrivance; gadget; device.
[1815–25; perhaps contr (ivance) + (ad)aption, variant of adaptation]

Contraption

 

Heath Robinson A proper name applied to ingenious but overly complicated and impractical mechanical contraptions. Heath Robinson (1872-1944) was a British caricaturist whose name became associated with his popular drawings of complicated mechanisms made out of every imaginable piece of junk and held together by the most unconventional means. This British phrase is most often used adjectivally and is similar to the American Rube Goldberg.

This “Heath-Robinson” jumble of wooden sheds, sluices, and water troughs looks ridiculous, yet it works all right. (Discovery, November, 1934)

Rube Goldberg Any mechanical contrivance which is unnecessarily complex and impractical; used adjectivally, makeshift or improvised, jerry-built. Reuben Goldberg was an American cartoonist born in the late 19th century. His name evokes images of cartoons depicting ridiculously complex mechanical contrivances, and is used in referring to elaborate but ineffective repair work, inventions, etc. A “Rube Goldberg job” looks impressive but is unreliable.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contraption - a device or control that is very useful for a particular jobcontraption - a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
device - an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose; "the device is small enough to wear on your wrist"; "a device intended to conserve water"
gadgetry - appliances collectively; "laborsaving gadgetry"
gimbal - an appliance that allows an object (such as a ship's compass) to remain horizontal even as its support tips
injector - a contrivance for injecting (e.g., water into the boiler of a steam engine or particles into an accelerator etc.)
mod con - modern convenience; the appliances and conveniences characteristic of a modern house

contraption

noun (Informal) device, instrument, mechanism, apparatus, gadget, contrivance, waldo, rig an interesting musical contraption called a Theremin

contraption

noun
1. Something, as a machine, devised for a particular function:
2. A small specialized mechanical device:
Informal: doodad, doohickey, widget.
Slang: gizmo.
Translations
آلَة أو جِهاز غَريب
výmyslvymyšlená věc
indretningtingest
vehjevekotinvempain
tæki
įtaisasmašina
ietaiserīks
zamazingo

contraption

[kənˈtræpʃən] N (= gadget) → artilugio m, aparato m; (= vehicle) → armatoste m

contraption

[kənˈtræpʃən] n (pejorative)machin m, truc m

contraption

n (inf)Apparat m (inf); (= vehicle also)Vehikel nt (inf), → Kiste f (inf)

contraption

[kənˈtræpʃn] n (fam, pej) → aggeggio

contraption

(kənˈtrӕpʃən) noun
a strange machine or apparatus. He tried to fly over the Atlantic in a home-made contraption.
References in classic literature ?
I rigged up a contraption to hold off those stinking beasts, and I spent a happy day there with a spud.
I could see that he was not even half convinced that any such ridiculous contraption could make a canoe move through the water.
It's the only contraption that'll ever hold One Ear," he said.
An' of course the dogs can hike along all day with that contraption behind them," affirmed a second of the men.
Because, John Carter," she replied, "nearly every planet and star having atmospheric conditions at all approaching those of Barsoom, shows forms of animal life almost identical with you and me; and, further, Earth men, almost without exception, cover their bodies with strange, unsightly pieces of cloth, and their heads with hideous contraptions the purpose of which we have been unable to conceive; while you, when found by the Tharkian warriors, were entirely undisfigured and unadorned.
The entire contraption ('1500 metres of aluminium sections, 600 square metres of cotton fabric, 1000 square metres of MDF and more than 10 000 screws and bolts') may itself be anachronistic and indeed was not fully operational during initial days of the exhibition.
A signature treatment is the Hibiscus Island Paradise, which opens with a papaya-pineapple skin scrub and then proceeds to a soothing Vichy shower (imagine lying in a basin as a multiheaded spray contraption lightly rains warm water over your body).
If you looked down instead of ahead, you saw a turntable-like contraption bearing a rotating disk with the words YOU'RE THE REASON YOUR KIDS ARE UGLY printed on it.
He's trying to walk with the contraption, which weighs as much as a grown man.
Into the Institute's boxlike space, Libeskind has inserted a tilting planar contraption which has unexpected sculptural presence.
As long as they insist, with fellow-traveler Wendell Berry, that a new contraption should be adopted only if it is cheaper, smaller, and locally made; uses less energy; does not disrupt anything good that already exists (including family and community relationships); does not infringe on the rights of other species (plants and animals alike); and does not harm the interests of the next seven generations, the "neo-Luddite" movement will inspire derision rather than effective technological resistance.
Clonaid tries to sell a mysterious $9,220 contraption called the RMX 2010, heightening the product's ambiguity by donating one to a British science museum with strict orders not to open it to find out what is inside.