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
A year later, Grohl loaned the contraption to Axl Rose to use after the Guns ‘
Students constructed the contraptions by utilizing science, technology, engineering and mathematical concepts.
Notable fashion choices included a dress lit up like the night sky, and a full-body vines and flowers contraption.
With so much to look at, from Rube Goldberg-like contraptions to a beast spewing fire and lots of gears and pendulums, the technical wizardry eventually became sensory overload.
But most of all, parents should keep an eye on their kids and get them out fast if the contraption starts to collapse.
Instead of the sticks or drinking straws used with apes, the ravens got small rocks as tools to open the boxy contraption.
This great whizzing contraption could be put into the service of the nation.
The inaugural festival, which runs from July 7 to 9 on the Goshen Fairgrounds, is devoted to the hot air balloon, that beloved aerial contraption now considered more a work of art than true mode of transportation.
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
Definition of contraption for English Language Learners
: a piece of equipment or machinery that is unusual or strange
CONTRAPTION Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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