Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg

noun
1.
having a fantastically complicated, improvised appearance: a Rube Goldberg arrangement of flasks and test tubes.
2.
deviously complex and impractical: a Rube Goldberg scheme for reducing taxes.
Also, Goldbergian, Rube Goldbergian.


Origin:
1955–60; after Rube (Reuben) Goldberg

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Goldberg

[gohld-burg]
noun
1.
Arthur Joseph, 1908–90, U.S. jurist, statesman, and diplomat: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1962–65; ambassador to the U.N. 1965–68.
2.
Reuben Lucius ("Rube") 1883–1970, U.S. cartoonist, whose work often depicts deviously complex and impractical inventions.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Rube Goldberg
1940, from the U.S. cartoonist Reuben Lucius Goldberg (1883-1970) who devised fantastically complex gadgetry to accomplish simple tasks. His British counterpart was Heath Robinson (1872-1944).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

rube goldberg

American cartoonist who satirized the American preoccupation with technology. His name became synonymous with any simple process made outlandishly complicated.

Learn more about Goldberg, Rube with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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