Rube Goldberg


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

Rube Goldberg

Describing an unnecessarily complicated machine used for a simple task. Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist known for drawing such contraptions. I just love these silly Rube Goldberg machines—it takes imagination to design something so complicated!
See also: rube
References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: Students adjust their Rube Goldberg machine at a contest in Argonne, Illinois.
The contest takes its cue from Rube Goldberg, a 20th-century engineer turned cartoonist.
Educational institutions and government agencies such as Argonne National Laboratory have held competitions for students who invent machines that pay homage to Rube Goldberg.
How can they glean at a glance the nutrition information they need from this Rube Goldberg boondoggle?
NEW YORK -- Giclee prints of the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg have recently been made available through Animated Animations.
The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Rube Goldberg, who was famous for satirizing new technologies, and is devoted to bringing his cartoon "inventions" to life.
The machine sounds like a Rube Goldberg invention to me, but as I am engineeringly challenged, what do I know?
The brutal fact of the matter is that we have what can only be described as a Rube Goldberg device for retail technology.
The computers that now control each step of what at first glance appears to be a Rube Goldberg maze have accomplished that task.
For example, students build Rube Goldberg devices, with the goal of connecting 10 complicated machines together to accomplish an extremely simple task.
Although her knowledge of published sources and her pyrotechnics of writing are impressive, her results -- like the Rube Goldberg contraptions that are contrived for their own sake -- are clever and interesting, but not entirely convincing.
Can any processor handle all these products without its plant turning into something out of a Rube Goldberg cartoon?
The structure remains as built, as if Rube Goldberg had designed it, however inconsistent with subsequent experience or modern life.
Newark Electronics presented Purdue University engineering students with a first place win in the 2001 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.