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Heath Robinson

(of a mechanical device) absurdly complicated in design and having a simple function
Word Origin
C20: named after William Heath Robinson (1872–1944), British cartoonist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Historical Examples
  • Not satisfied with the condition of the road as it was, they sent forth this "heath robinson" mechanism to improve it.

  • They bring troops up to within 20 miles of heath robinson, who fires off his gun every half hour.

    Letters from France Isaac Alexander Mack

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