mousetrap

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build a better mousetrap

To invent something that improves upon an existing object or concept. You don't have to try so hard to build a better mousetrap—just design what interests you and see what happens.
See also: better, build, mousetrap

a better mousetrap

Something that improves upon an existing object or concept. Typically used in the phrase "build a better mousetrap." You don't have to try so hard to build a better mousetrap—just design what interests you and see what happens.
See also: better, mousetrap

build a better mousetrap

to develop or invent something superior to a device that is widely used. (From the old saying, "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.") Harry thought he could build a better mousetrap, but everything he "invented" had already been thought of.
See also: better, build, mousetrap

a better mousetrap

an improved version of a well-known article.
This expression comes from an observation attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1889 , though also claimed by Elbert Hubbard : ‘If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbour, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door’.
See also: better, mousetrap

better mousetrap, (if one can) build a

A minor but important improvement will bring fame and fortune. This idea came from a speech Ralph Waldo Emerson made in 1871 and quoted (or misquoted) by Mrs. Sarah S. B. Yule. Emerson allegedly said, “If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor . . . the world will make a beaten path to his door.”
See also: better, build, one
References in periodicals archive ?
Marie's cat dutifully removed the intruder, and the couple invested in more than a dozen mousetraps to secure the house: 10 spring-loaded classics and three or four humane ones.
They found only one more mouse, months later, dead and dried out in the garage, apparently dispatched by one of the killing mousetraps.
Haga also stressed the importance of washing the mousetrap after each use.
A MOUSETRAP doused in chocolate flavouring is the latest offering from scientists at the Warwick University Manufacturing Group.
The result has been the death-by-chocolate mousetrap, which has already been snapped up by the agricultural sector of the market and is attracting interest from those keen to discourage late-night rodent visitors both in the UK and abroad.
NIPPLE NIBBLE; Jackass leader Johnny Knoxville gets a nip from a baby alligator; MOUSETRAP DARE; <Make it snappy...because the floor's booby-trapped; WHEELCHAIR WINCE; Going down steep steps at a wheel rate of knots; TIGHTROPE TRIAL; Fine line..just one wrong step and it's into the alligator pool
To encourage people to share their "mousetraps," the WST2 Center sponsored a contest to acknowledge the innovative ideas.
The WST2 Center will continue the "Better Mousetraps" in the center's newsletter by publishing new ideas and awarding certificates and hats to the inventors.
Some of the other innovative mousetraps demonstrated at Expo included simple devices, such as an aluminum sleeve that slips over fiberglass guideposts for easier installation.
Teacher Troy Mast gave teams of four students two mousetraps each and a supply of rubber bands.
Powered by the release of the mousetraps, some cars traveled more than 140 yards down a school hallway on wheels made of old 33 rpm records, floppy discs and other lightweight materials.
It is a new chapter in the illustrious history of online mousetraps. The first and most audacious mousetrap is EasyNet, with its common interface to hundreds of database and its innovative pricing.
CORIS is the latest online mousetrap - that is, a device that will make the information using world beat a profitable path to the doors of the online industry.
Cooper Union celebrated the ingenuity of 19th century mechanical engineering at its recent exhibit, "A Better Mousetrap: Patents and the Process of Invention." The display of early rotary engines, artificial limbs, pumps, and brick-making machines coincided with the 200th birthday of the New York school's founder, Peter Cooper, an entrepreneur, inventor, and philanthropist best known for his 1830 design of Tom Thumb, the first practical steam locomotive built in North America.
THE Queen has been sent a special delivery by a Welsh company - 100 mousetraps.