Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

contraption

[kuh n-trap-shuh n]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun Informal.
  1. a mechanical contrivance; gadget; device.

Origin of contraption

1815–25; perhaps contr(ivance) + (ad)aption, variant of adaptation
Related formscon·trap·tious, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contraption

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But it took ten days to get the contraption ready for the next fizzle.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • My children's teeth never had to have all this contraption on them.

    Gigolo

    Edna Ferber

  • When we find Craven, we'll find the contraption that's blanketing Jupiter and its moons.

    Empire

    Clifford Donald Simak

  • Go upstairs again, Amy, and haul up this end of the contraption.

  • Wall, stranger, what kind of a contraption do you-all reckon to have thar?


British Dictionary definitions for contraption

contraption

noun
  1. informal, often facetious, or derogatory a device or contrivance, esp one considered strange, unnecessarily intricate, or improvised

Word Origin

C19: perhaps from con (trivance) + trap 1 + (inven) tion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for contraption

n.

1825, western England dialect, origin obscure, perhaps from con(trive) + trap, or deception.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.