Definition of contraption in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈtrapʃ(ə)n/


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 informal doodah, doobry, gubbins
North American informal dingus, doodad, doojigger, doohickey
Australian informal bitzer
Australian/New Zealand informal thingo


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

Words that rhyme with contraption


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|trap¦tion

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