Definition of Rube Goldberg adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

Rube Goldberg

 adjective
adjective
BrE BrE//ˌruːb ˈɡəʊldbɜːɡ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌruːb ˈɡoʊldbɜːrɡ//
 
(North American English)(British English Heath Robinson)[only before noun](humorous)
 
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(of machines and devices) having a very complicated design, especially when used to perform a very simple task; not practical Culture Rube Goldberg was a US cartoonist who drew complicated, ridiculous machines performing tasks that could be done more easily without them. Goldberg was also a political cartoonist and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for his work. Competitions are sometimes held in the US to see who can build machines of the type that Goldberg was famous for. see also Heath Robinson Word Origin 1950s: from the name of Reuben Goldberg (1883–1970), an American cartoonist whose illustrations often depicted devices with such a complicated design.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Rube Goldberg

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