from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mechanical device; a gadget.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A machine that is complicated and precarious.
  • n. Any object.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A contrivance; a new-fangled device; -- used scornfully.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A device; a contrivance: used slightingly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a device or control that is very useful for a particular job


Perhaps mock-Latinate blend of contrive and trap1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Originally a Western US English dialectical word. Unknown origin. Perhaps from contrive + trap + -tion (Wiktionary)



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