Definition of Rube Goldberg in English:

Rube Goldberg

Line breaks: Rube Gold|berg
Pronunciation: /ˌruːb ˈɡəʊl(d)bəːɡ


North American
Ingeniously or unnecessarily complicated in design or construction: a Rube Goldberg machine
More example sentences
  • Inside his head, there once was a Rube Goldberg contraption designed to help him play golf.
  • Harnessing the energy of some Rube Goldberg perpetual-motion machine, prancing on those fine filly legs like the winner of the strumpet's marathon, Bette uses her body as an inexhaustible source of sight gags.
  • She's not a Rube Goldberg machine, but a perpetual-motion one.


1950s: from the name of Reuben Goldberg (1883–1970), an American cartoonist whose illustrations often depicted devices with such a complicated design.

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into Spanish
Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards