Share this entry

contraption Line breaks: con|trap¦tion
Pronunciation: /kənˈtrapʃ(ə)n/

Definition of contraption in English:


A machine or device that appears strange or unnecessarily complicated, and often badly made or unsafe: repairing stereos and making contraptions out of spare electronic bits
More example sentences
  • There are the flying machines and steam contraptions, technology from a fantastic version of the industrial age.
  • You find strange contraptions made of rubber and metal lying around in the basement.
  • Neither of them wore gear and they were using some sort of strange cardboard contraptions as nets but they were wearing skates and they had sticks in their hands.
British Heath Robinson device;
North American Rube Goldberg device
British informaldoodah, doobry, gubbins
North American informaldingus, doodad, doojigger, doohickey
Australian informalbitzer


Early 19th century: perhaps from contrive (on the pattern of pairs such as conceive, conception), by association with trap1.

Words that rhyme with contraption


Definition of contraption in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words