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[wij-it] /ˈwɪdʒ ɪt/
a small mechanical device, as a knob or switch, especially one whose name is not known or cannot be recalled; gadget:
a row of widgets on the instrument panel.
something considered typical or representative, as of a manufacturer's products:
the widgets coming off the assembly line.
Digital Technology. a module on a website, in an application, or in the interface of a device that allows users to access information or perform a function:
I added a weather widget to my screen.
Origin of widget
1925-30; perhaps alteration of gadget Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for widget
Contemporary Examples
British Dictionary definitions for widget


(informal) any small mechanism or device, the name of which is unknown or temporarily forgotten
a small device in a beer can which, when the can is opened, releases nitrogen gas into the beer, giving it a head
a small computer program that can be installed on and executed from the desktop of a personal computer
Word Origin
C20: changed from gadget
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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Contemporary definitions for widget

an element of a graphical user interface such as a button or scroll bar; also, a module of software for a personalized Web page


The widget allows you to have "things to be happy about" on your Web site.

Word Origin

1987's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for widget

"gadget, small manufactured item," c.1920, American English, probably an alteration of gadget, perhaps based on which it.

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



: as though it were read aloud from the press release of a widget manufacturer


A mechanical, electrical, or electronic device; gadget, gizmo: It's three floors of sights, sounds, illusions, movements, gadgets, widgets, and gizmos/ not an activity I would recommend to anyone daunted by a widgit more complicated than a stapler (1920+)

[an alteration of gadget, perhaps based on hypothetical which it on the model of whatzit and whoozis]

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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widget in Technology

1. A meta-thing. Used to stand for a real object in didactic examples (especially database tutorials). Legend has it that the original widgets were holders for buggy whips. "But suppose the parts list for a widget has 52 entries..."
2. [possibly evoking "window gadget"] In graphical user interfaces, a combination of a graphic symbol and some program code to perform a specific function. E.g. a scroll-bar or button. Windowing systems usually provide widget libraries containing commonly used widgets drawn in a certain style and with consistent behaviour.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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