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.
The entire contraption is billed at $249.99, while the security camera alone runs $119.99.
The draisine's operator sat on the vehicle like a modern bicycle, but used their feet to push the contraption along, like a child's balance bike today.
The contraption spins around several times per second, collecting distance data to objects all around the vehicle.
The crusty baguette, supplied by Addison’s La Spiga Bakery, plated on that crazy contraption and used in the ham sandwich, serves its purpose — crunchy and crumby outside, with a pillowy dough.
Emma Portner is standing in the corner of a Bushwick studio draped in a camouflage contraption of Balenciaga’s that fits her roughly like a T-10 parachute.
And a bump stock is a simple enough contraption that some people can make their own.
In 2000, Ishiguro, as an associate professor at Kyoto University, produces his first humanoid robot: a mechanical-looking contraption that moves on a wheeled platform, waving its jointed steel arms.
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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