Definition of widget in English:



  • 1A small gadget or mechanical device.

    • ‘All of the ideas and all of the amends are delegated down from the project managers and the conceptual people to the people who actually produce the final work who are also the people who actually understand what widgets and doodahs are for.’
    • ‘Gadgets and widgets and all that cool stuff that make life easier, or at least more fun, that's what I want to write about.’
    • ‘As you get deeper into turkeys, you'll find an almost infinite number of widgets, gadgets and gimmicks for turkey hunters.’
    • ‘Too often we are caught up in the latest high-capacity firearm that is chock-full of the newest gizmos and widgets.’
    • ‘Prior to stamping and polymer clay and all the other gadgets and widgets we have today, we had paints and canvas.’
    device, gadget, machine, appliance, contraption, apparatus, mechanism, implement, tool, labour-saving device, invention
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (in some beer cans) a plastic device which introduces nitrogen into the beer, giving it a creamy head.
      • ‘The vast majority of canned beers in the U.S. are of the American Light Lager variety, for which a beer widget would be counterproductive.’
      • ‘Pop and outdoor ads sporting a rocket widget and a Guinness Draught bottle are aimed at building awareness for nitrogenated Guinness Draught and Stout in cans and bottles.’
      • ‘A can of beer is pressurised by adding liquid nitrogen, which vaporises and expands in volume after the can is sealed, forcing gas and beer into the widget's hollow interior through a tiny hole - the less beer the better for subsequent head quality.’
    2. 1.2Computing An application, or a component of an interface, that enables a user to perform a function or access a service.
      • ‘Furthermore, many Web pages are busy places, full of navigation widgets and data entry fields.’
      • ‘The days when developers would sit at a text editor manually arranging buttons, listboxes and other widgets by brain power alone are pretty much gone.’
      • ‘For example, if the feature could be turned on an off via a checkbox widget, that information was included in the description along with whether the checkbox was selected or not selected by default.’
      • ‘Behind your widget website there is a large database of widgets.’
      • ‘More downloadable widgets are in the offing; people with programming talents can build their own.’


1930s: perhaps an alteration of gadget.