One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Ingeniously or unnecessarily complicated in design or construction.‘a Rube Goldberg machine’
- ‘The thing was then, and is now, a Rube Goldberg contraption of breathtaking audacity.’
- ‘The old, trusted model for traditional media buying is something of a Rube Goldberg machine, he says, functioning because agencies have large, low-paid back office staffs processing insertion orders.’
- ‘I think the polling methodology is a Rube Goldberg contraption that seems conveniently to favor Democratic candidates on a fairly regular basis.’
- ‘But from a purely pedestrian viewpoint, this seems like a Rube Goldberg response to the simplest of ideas.’
- ‘She's not a Rube Goldberg machine, but a perpetual-motion one.’
- ‘So while most conventional dairies resemble a Rube Goldberg concoction of pulleys, levers and treated feed where the animals serve as little more than milk spouts, this company has opted for a more humane and, he believes, healthier approach.’
- ‘The story structure of the film is like the cinematic equivalent of a Rube Goldberg machine - a twisting, winding string of coincidences piled one upon another, all leading to a very simple event - a woman meeting a man.’
- ‘In emulation of him, they have turned the wagon into a Rube Goldberg plane that takes off, despite King's efforts to stop it.’
- ‘Rather than going about things in a straightforward manner, she devises stratagems, the complexities of which are analogous to the workings of a Rube Goldberg project.’
- ‘These macroscopic movements of the tympanum are transmitted through the columella and extracolumella in most sensible tetrapods, or through a Rube Goldberg machine of three weirdly shaped bones in mammals.’
- ‘With fascination R. watched me rig up this Rube Goldberg device and mount the switch outside the back door.’
- ‘Spoons, safety pins, little magnifying glasses, plants, and endless bits of junk rise into the air like a Rube Goldberg contraption without the plot.’
- ‘Harnessing the energy of some Rube Goldberg perpetual-motion machine, prancing on those fine filly legs like the winner of the strumpet's marathon, Bette uses her body as an inexhaustible source of sight gags.’
- ‘Inside his head, there once was a Rube Goldberg contraption designed to help him play golf.’
- ‘Even more impressive is the fact that Kelly has managed to marshal this Rube Goldberg menagerie into a smart, funny lampoon of gung-ho militarism.’
- ‘I think of a routine in which the cast was in the kitchen, getting ready for a party, and moved food items from one side to another with the goofy precision of a Rube Goldberg device.’
1950s: from the name of Reuben Goldberg (1883–1970), an American cartoonist whose illustrations often depicted devices with such a complicated design.
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