- The definition of a contraption is a strange machine, appliance or device used to do something.
A strange little bike that you built yourself to get you from place to place that looks as if it is going to fall apart at any minute is an example of a contraption.
contraption definition by Webster's New World
Origin: ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps con(trive) plush trap, plush -tion
contraption definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Perhaps mock-Latinate blend of contrive and trap1.