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[gaj-it] /ˈgædʒ ɪt/
a mechanical contrivance or device; any ingenious article.
Origin of gadget
1850-55; origin uncertain; compare French gâchette the catch of a lock, sear of a gunlock
Related forms
[gaj-i-tee] /ˈgædʒ ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
contraption; whatsis, doohickey, thingamajig. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gadget
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He stayed on because he wanted to find out what the trick was that made the gadget work.

    Toy Shop Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • With that gadget there, we can pick it up and throw it away.

    The Black Star Passes John W Campbell
  • Rummy as the gadget might appear, it had been the right thing to do.

    Jill the Reckless P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
  • I had made this gadget—it was a toy for children as far as I was concerned.

    By Proxy Gordon Randall Garrett
  • But I thought I'd have a chance to take any gadget he was hiding away from him first.

    The Winds of Time James H. Schmitz
British Dictionary definitions for gadget


a small mechanical device or appliance
any object that is interesting for its ingenuity or novelty rather than for its practical use
Derived Forms
gadgety, adjective
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from French gâchette lock catch, trigger, diminutive of gâche staple
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
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Word Origin and History for gadget

1886, gadjet (but said to date back to 1850s), sailors' slang word for any small mechanical thing or part of a ship for which they lacked, or forgot, a name; perhaps from French gâchette "catchpiece of a mechanism" (15c.), diminutive of gâche "staple of a lock."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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