Definition of gadget in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈɡajət/


A small mechanical or electronic device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one: a state-of-the-art kitchen with every conceivable gadget
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, labor-saving device, convenience, invention
informal gizmo, widget



Pronunciation: /ˌɡajiˈti(ə)r/
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

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.