Definition of doohickey in US English:


nounPlural doohickeys

North American
  • A small object or gadget, especially one whose name the speaker does not know or cannot recall.

    ‘a garage filled with electronic parts and other valuable doohickeys’
    • ‘The sensible thing now would be to repackage the doohickey and take it to the nearest charity shop.’
    • ‘Clothing, toiletries and miscellaneous technological doohickeys probably called things like ‘datalink’, ‘commpad’ and ‘holocred’ were strewn across the floor in the way of messy rooms everywhere.’
    • ‘And with a little adapter/switcher doohickey, it's easy to set it up as a second computer, sharing the same mouse monitor and keyboard.’
    • ‘I'm going to make some little doohickey out of paperclips for the next half hour and then maybe wander off and get a candy bar.’
    • ‘The first thing that caught my eye was one of those plastic doohickeys that six-packs of soda come in.’
    • ‘It almost felt like it had to be instinctual to make a run for the magical doohickey that would allow me to go on to the next level.’
    • ‘You can use an air popper, an electric popper, or one of those fancy self-stirring doohickeys, but all you really need to make good popcorn is a large, lidded skillet, pan or wok.’
    • ‘You can't see me, and I won't show up on that doohickey.’
    • ‘The doohickeys that you cherish are, of course, totally pathetic in my eyes, revealing you as a ‘sharper image’ slave to self-defeating, fashionable mechanisms.’
    • ‘In the latest title, players control a space cowboy with a gun for an arm, a cybernetic eye with multiple scan modes, and a collection of doohickeys - including a grappling beam - that let him explore a vast world.’
    • ‘The rear seats fold in a 60/40 arrangement and the design team has managed to avoid the recent mania for complicated levers and spring-loaded doohickeys.’
    • ‘Or it could have been the white doohickey that fell off.’
    • ‘But he brought aboard a doohickey that recharges your cellphone from your laptop.’
    • ‘It's not unusual for a single dish to come presented in four, five, even seven separate little trays, boxes, tureens, cups, or assorted doohickeys.’
    • ‘Create some downloadable desktop doohickey that goes off at random and requires the viewer to do something, making the viewer part of the art.’
    • ‘You'll find no winged doohickeys or portable thingamajigs here.’
    • ‘She looked around the kitchen, hoping for some kind of lever type doohickey.’
    • ‘You found yourself a magical doohickey that nobody knows how to work.’
    • ‘To find our little bit of it, first click on the image and then click again on the magnifier doohickey to get the most zoomed in one.’
    • ‘Pie bakers can stick these little ceramic doohickeys, usually shaped like birds, into their pies so that steam can escape.’
    object, article, item, artefact, commodity
    View synonyms


Early 20th century (originally servicemen's slang): blend of doodad and hickey.