Definition of gadget in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡadʒɪt/


A small mechanical or electronic device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one: a variety of kitchen gadgets
More example sentences
  • Today, our lives are filled with all manner of gadgets, gizmos and convenience goods.
  • Suppliers want in to introduce garden tools, furniture and gadgets to the biggest possible market.
  • Americans also have a strong technological bias, and are a people of tools and gadgets, so to speak.
appliance, apparatus, instrument, implement, tool, utensil, contrivance, contraption, machine, mechanism, device, labour-saving device, convenience, invention, thing;
Heath Robinson device;
North American  Rube Goldberg device
informal widget, gismo, thingummy, gimmick, mod con
British informal doobry, doodah



Pronunciation: /ɡadʒɪˈtɪə/
Example sentences
  • I'm not a gadgeteer; I don't enjoy the equipment as an end in itself.
  • Most of my fellow-divers were keen gadgeteers.
  • The gadgeteer takes items he finds during his adventures and uses his Engineering skill to transform them into gadgets.


Example sentences
  • Considering our shared love of all things gadgety, I think it's probably better we don't live nearer one another.
  • I started writing about similar things I wrote about as a hack: media and new media stuff and various digital and gadgety things.
  • What, at this high level of gadgety sophistication, is the point of an invisible car?


Late 19th century (originally in nautical use): probably from French gâchette 'lock mechanism' or from the French dialect word gagée 'tool'.

  • Sailors were the first people to talk about gadgets. The word started out in nautical slang as a general term for any small device or mechanism or part of a ship. This is the earliest recorded use, dated 1886: ‘Then the names of all the other things on board a ship! I don't know half of them yet; even the sailors forget at times, and if the exact name of anything they want happens to slip from their memory, they call it a chicken-fixing, or a gadjet, or a gill-guy, or a timmey-noggy, or a wim-wom.’ The word is probably from French gâchette ‘a lock mechanism’ or gagée ‘tool’. See also widget

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gadget

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