• Gadget


    • IPA: /ɡædʒɪt/
    • Rhymes: -ædʒɪt

    Alternative forms


    Unknown. First used in print by Robert Brown in 1886 (see quote in definition section). Might come from French gâchette or gagée.

    Full definition of gadget



    (plural gadgets)
    1. (obsolete) a thing whose name cannot be remembered; thingamajig, doohickey
      • 1886, Robert Brown, Spunyard and Spindrift, A Sailor Boy's Log of a Voyage Out and Home in a China Tea-clipper: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 timmey-noggy, or a wim-wom—just pro tem., you know.
    2. any device or machine, especially one whose name cannot be recalled. Often either clever or complicated.He bought a neat new gadget for shredding potatoes.That's quite a lot of gadgets you have collected. Do you use any of them?

    Derived terms


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