from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mechanical device; a gadget.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A device; a contrivance: used slightingly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Colloq. or Dial. A contrivance; a new-fangled device; -- used scornfully.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A machine that is complicated and precarious.
  • noun figuratively Any object.

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

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


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

[Perhaps mock-Latinate blend of contrive and trap.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally a Western US English dialectical word. Unknown origin. Perhaps from contrive + trap + -tion



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  • My mental image of contraption is often some kind of vehicle.

    July 31, 2009

  • I've always pictured it as something with belts and ropes and levers and GEARS used to flatten oversize leathery EARS.

    July 31, 2009

  • Did I mention pulleys? Lots and lots of pulleys!!

    July 31, 2009

  • By God, bilby, that is a contraption!

    August 2, 2009

  • Ears back for speed?

    August 2, 2009

  • *Keeps misreading this page as contraception*

    That's an awesome vehicle! Note to self: must somehow acquire the contraption for future use.

    August 2, 2009

  • I like the tiger print seats. Nice touch.

    August 2, 2009

  • I see some kind of intricate device used in the field of creative plumbing aka subversive plumbing (see Brazil). Surely your contraption has such a contraption built into it somewhere.

    August 3, 2009

  • The fastest 1957 Chevy Pick Up in the world.

    August 4, 2009


    I saw you tinkering with that contraption,

    Hickory. Now, you and Hunk get back to that


    June 10, 2010