a small mechanical device, as a knob or switch, especially one whose name is not known or cannot be recalled; gadget: a row of widgets on the instrument panel.
something considered typical or representative, as of a manufacturer's products: the widgets coming off the assembly line.

1925–30; perhaps alteration of gadget

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World English Dictionary
widget (ˈwɪdʒɪt)
1.  informal any small mechanism or device, the name of which is unknown or temporarily forgotten
2.  a small device in a beer can which, when the can is opened, releases nitrogen gas into the beer, giving it a head
3.  a small computer program that can be installed on and executed from the desktop of a personal computer
[C20: changed from gadget]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"gadget, small manufactured item," c.1920, Amer.Eng., probably an alteration of gadget, perhaps based on which it.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Factories take time to build, and can carry on cranking out widgets for years.
Moreover, the production of these widgets is not closely related to the number
  of local employees.
The growth of social media and widgets that let readers rank stories could
  surely help this to develop.
Kin phones have a browser and can access social networking sites through
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