din·​gus | \ ˈdiŋ-(g)əs How to pronounce dingus (audio) \
plural dinguses

Definition of dingus

1 informal : an often small article whose common name is unknown or forgotten : gadget, doodad sense 2 In his [Dashiell Hammett's] writings of the period from 1924 to 1952, "dingus" signifies, variously, a magician's prop, a typewriter, a short story, a novel, and an elusive artifact, a black bird better known as the Maltese Falcon.— Mark McGurl … the boy was decked out in a fancy uniform with silver buttons and a cap with a dingus on the top.— Sholem Aleichem
2 US slang : a dim-witted, silly, or foolish person often used in a joking or friendly wayBy most accounts, [Hunter] Strickland is actually a sweet feller. Respected by his teammates, nice to the fans, et cetera. But he sure is a dingus on the mound sometimes.— Grant BrisbeeThink back to when you were 17 and how much of a dingus you could be …Pacific Takes

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Examples of dingus in a Sentence

it seems to be missing some little dingus that holds everything in place

First Known Use of dingus

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dingus

Dutch or German; Dutch dinges, probably from German Dings, from genitive of Ding thing, from Old High German — more at thing

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Time Traveler for dingus

Time Traveler

The first known use of dingus was in 1873

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Cite this Entry

“Dingus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dingus. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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