Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DAILY LIFE

Date: 1800-1900
Origin: Perhaps from French gâchette 'fastener of a lock'

gadget

noun
     
gad‧get [countable]
D a small, useful, and cleverly-designed machine or tool:
a neat gadget for sharpening knives
see usage note machine1WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

machine, device, gadget, appliance
A machine is a piece of equipment that uses power to do a particular job. It is usually large and stays in the same place a machine that sorts mail a washing machineYou use the words device and gadget especially when you think the equipment is very cleverly designed. A device is a piece of equipment that does a particular job, for example takes measurements or controls the operation of a machine. It may use electrical power or be used by hand a device for detecting blood alcohol levels from breath samples a temperature control deviceA gadget is a small piece of equipment that does something useful or impressive one of those gadgets that sorts coins kitchen gadgetsAn appliance is a piece of electrical equipment used in your home such as a washing machine or fridge. This word is used especially by the companies that produce and sell them the world's largest producer of household appliances domestic appliancesSee also machine
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