Today’s English word of the day is: Rube Goldberg device. Keep reading to learn the meaning of ‘Rube Goldberg device’, hear the pronunciation, and read an example dialogue. With each word of the day, I only focus on one definition. To see every meaning of the word, check out its entry in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries or in the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary.
Rube Goldberg device: a machine or device that has a very complicated design, especially when used to perform a very simple task
You can also say ‘Rube Goldberg machine’, ‘Rube Goldberg contraption‘, etc.
I love doing these words of the day for you, Stepper, because I sometimes learn things, too! I never knew this before, but in Britain, they say ‘Heath Robinson’ instead of ‘Rube Goldberg’…cool! Both men were cartoonists who drew delightful and outrageous gizmos.
American English Pronunciation: /ˌruːb ˈɡoʊldbɜːrɡ dɪˈvaɪs/
🤣: Really? I mean, it takes less than a minute to butter your toast the normal way, but no… You’re here setting up a Rube Goldberg device in the middle of our kitchen to do it for you.
😜: You’re just jealous, but you shouldn’t be. I’m also working on one of these contraptions for you! When your alarm goes off in the morning, it will set off a chain reaction that will put toothpaste on your toothbrush for you. Cool, right?!
Want more practice using the term ‘Rube Goldberg’? Here are some BBC.com articles featuring today’s word of the day!
And in case you were wondering…yes, there is a world record for the largest Rube Goldberg device! 🤣
These machines turn up in the movies sometimes, too! Here is an example of a Rube Goldberg device from the charming 1968 children’s movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Definition source: Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries.
Come back tomorrow for another advanced English word of the day! My schedule is:
THURSDAY: slang, idiom, or phrasal verb
FRIDAY: academic, literary, or otherwise “big” vocabulary