contraption

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con·trap·tion

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

[Perhaps mock-Latinate blend of contrive and trap.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

con•trap•tion

(kənˈtræp ʃən)

n.
a mechanical contrivance; gadget; device.
[1815–25; perhaps contr (ivance) + (ad)aption, variant of adaptation]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

contraption

noun (Informal) device, instrument, mechanism, apparatus, gadget, contrivance, waldo, rig an interesting musical contraption called a Theremin
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

contraption

noun
1. Something, as a machine, devised for a particular function:
2. A small specialized mechanical device:
Informal: doodad, doohickey, widget.
Slang: gizmo.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations
آلَة أو جِهاز غَريب
výmyslvymyšlená věc
indretningtingest
vehjevekotinvempain
tæki
įtaisasmašina
ietaiserīks
zamazingo

contraption

[kənˈtræpʃən] N (= gadget) → artilugio m, aparato m; (= vehicle) → armatoste m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

contraption

[kənˈtræpʃən] n (pejorative)machin m, truc m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

contraption

n (inf)Apparat m (inf); (= vehicle also)Vehikel nt (inf), → Kiste f (inf)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

contraption

[kənˈtræpʃn] n (fam, pej) → aggeggio
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995

contraption

(kənˈtrӕpʃən) noun
a strange machine or apparatus. He tried to fly over the Atlantic in a home-made contraption.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
"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.
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.
I rigged up a contraption to hold off those stinking beasts, and I spent a happy day there with a spud.
"An' of course the dogs can hike along all day with that contraption behind them," affirmed a second of the men.
It is sad that bicycles are vanishing in our towns and villages in the smoke of motorcycles because our youth are fascinated with these contraptions.
In "The LEGO BOOST Idea Book: 95 Simple Robots and Clever Contraptions", Yoshihito showcases 95 creative ways to build simple robots with the LEGO BOOST set.
LATELY I have noticed the resurgence of ads-mostly on social media-of products and contraptions that lavishly promise six-pack abdominal muscles in just a few minutes a day.
Continue reading "National Poetry Month: 'Contraptions' at Bay Area's Contemporary Jewish Museum" at...
"In a way, these contraptions are reminiscent of the olden times when slaves and prisoners were immobilized.
Over 200 million persons chatter away into these little contraptions in diverse places, some oblivious of their surroundings or the people around them!
Most of these contraptions rely on simple machines, such as pulleys, levers, and ramps.