contraption was our Word of the Day on 09/18/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of contraption in a Sentence
The people wondered how the contraption worked.
built a contraption for automatically buttering toast
Recent Examples of contraption from the Web
Or, hey, come up with your own D.I.Y. (non-toxic!) contraption.
As a collection of often rusty artifacts and crazy contraptions, the City Museum has also faced dozens of lawsuits from injured visitors.
The conveyor belt from a former Famous Footwear used to carry shoes but now feeds hop vines into a contraption that strips the buds.
Yeah, so, that scene was half of an airplane on a contraption that was on a soundstage and inside of it, there was a camera mounted to the wall.
As Cleveland entered the 20th century, things began to change as automotive pioneer Alexander Winton developed his first car, a single cylinder contraption, in Cleveland.
Dave’s newest contraption is an $800 hulking black appliance that, with a pair of tubes jutting up out of the back, looks like the progeny of a top-of-the-line food processor crossed with a beer hat.
The film does drag on, though, without a great deal of visual distinction, and as the familial complications pile up, the movie seems less like a full-scale dramatic rendering and more like a smartypants comic contraption.
The whole contraption was encased in a cast-iron housing machined by John Feltner, a father of three who’d just recovered from bankruptcy.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contraption.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What Exactly is a contraption?
English has a number of words that can be used as general terms for mechanical or electronic devices, including gadget, gizmo, widget, and contraption. In addition to their meaning, these four words also have a couple of other things in common. First, they are all relative newcomers to the language. The oldest, contraption, entered the language around 1825. Second, the origins of all four are a bit of a mystery (well, widget is believed to be an alteration of gadget, but the origins of gadget are unknown-it didn't appear in print until 1886, but is believed to have been used among sailors perhaps as far back as the mid-1800s). Contraption, may be a blend of contrivance (which can be used as another synonym of gadget), trap, and invention.
Origin and Etymology of contraption
First Known Use: circa 1825See Words from the same year
Synonymsappliance, gadget, contrivance, gimmick, gizmo (also gismo), jigger, widget
Related Wordsimplement, instrument, tool, utensil; ingenuity, innovation, invention; accessory (also accessary), adjunct; mechanism, trick; dingus, doodad, doohickey, hickey, hootenanny [chiefly dialect], thingamabob, thingamajig (or thingumajig), thingummy
CONTRAPTION Defined for English Language Learners
CONTRAPTION Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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