A contraption is a device which is seen as weird or unnecessarily complicated, makeshift. The word contraption often has a negative connotation. The word contraption rises in use in the English language around the beginning of the 1900s, which is just about the time that Rube Goldberg began his cartoon career. Rube Goldberg is best remembered as a cartoonist who drew a series of cartoons which showcased contraptions which achieved a simple purpose in a complicated, convoluted manner. His name was entered into the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1931, Rube Goldberg is an adjective which means accomplishing something simple, through needlessly complicated means. The word contraption first appears in 1825 in western England, probably as a combination of the words contrive and trap.
B.C. police trying to seize man’s car over contraption he rigged to flip his licence plate up to avoid tolls (The National Post)
As part of a larger episode looking at busting myths from the television series Breaking Bad, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of MythBusters fame took on what is most definitely the most impressive contraption from the show’s finale. (Popular Mechanics)
Otago back-yard contraption beats Nasa (The New Zealand Herald)
Looking like a combination of wardrobe and fridge, the contraption removes odor and wrinkles and sterilizes clothes. (The Chosunilbo)
Rev. Bill Hassel is looking for a business to donate a parking lot, water, ice and shade for a weekend to be used for an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge event, featuring a new contraption engineered by Victoria resident Lawrence Onken. (The Victoria Advocate)
University of Limerick student Cathal Redmond (26) won the €2,500 award for making Express Dive, a contraption that allows divers to breathe underwater for up to two minutes. (The Irish Independent)