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[giz-moh] /ˈgɪz moʊ/
noun, plural gizmos.


or gizmo

[giz-moh] /ˈgɪz moʊ/
noun, plural gismos. Informal.
a gadget or device:
What is this gismo supposed to do?
Origin of gismo
First recorded in 1940-45; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for gizmo


noun (pl) -mos
(slang) a device; gadget
Word Origin
C20: of unknown origin
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 gizmo

1942, "Marine and Navy usage for any old thing you can't put a name to" ["Life" magazine, July 30, 1945], of unknown origin, perhaps a made-up word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gizmo



  1. An unspecified or unspecifiable object; something one does not know the name of or does not wish to name; dingus, gadget: ''Why weren't you using the gismo?'' ''I was. It didn't work''/ ''What's this gizmo?'' I asked. ''The hand brake''/ Guy tried to shove a Pepsi bottle in his wife's giz
  2. gimmick (Gambling)
  3. A man; fellow; guy: What's this gizmo have in mind?

[WWII Navy & Marine Corps; origin unknown; it has been suggested that it is fr Moroccan Arabic ki smuh, learned during the invasion of North Africa in 1942]


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The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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