A gadget is a small tool such as a machine that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty. Gadgets are sometimes referred to as gizmos.
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The etymology of the word is disputed. The word first appears as reference to an 18th-century tool in glassmaking that was developed as a spring pontil. As stated in the glass dictionary published by the Corning Museum of Glass, a gadget is a metal rod with a spring clip that grips the foot of a vessel and so avoids the use of a pontil. Gadgets were first used in the late 18th century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there is anecdotal (not necessarily true) evidence for the use of “gadget” as a placeholder name for a technical item whose precise name one can’t