Rube Goldberg

adjective
Rube Gold·​berg | \ˈrüb-ˈgōl(d)-ˌbərg \
variants: or less commonly Rube Goldbergian \ˈrüb-​ˈgōl(d)-​ˌbər-​gē-​ən, -​ˌbərg-​yən \

Definition of Rube Goldberg 

: accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply a kind of Rube Goldberg contraption … with five hundred moving parts— L. T. Grant also : characterized by such complex means

First Known Use of Rube Goldberg

1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Rube Goldberg

Reuben (Rube) L. Goldberg †1970 American cartoonist

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Rube Goldberg

Share Rube Goldberg

Dictionary Entries near Rube Goldberg

rubdown

rube

rubefacient

Rube Goldberg

rubel

rub elbows with

rubella

Statistics for Rube Goldberg

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for Rube Goldberg

The first known use of Rube Goldberg was in 1928

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of Rube Goldberg

: doing something simple in a very complicated way that is not necessary

More from Merriam-Webster on Rube Goldberg

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Rube Goldberg

Comments on Rube Goldberg

What made you want to look up Rube Goldberg? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!