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Etymology 1[edit]

Coined by George S. Kaufman in his play Beggar on Horseback (1924).


widget (plural widgets)

  1. A placeholder name for an unnamed, unspecified, or hypothetical manufactured good or product, typically as an example for purposes of explaining concepts.
    Synonyms: thingy, gizmo, sprocket; see also Thesaurus:thingy
    Suppose we have a widget factory that produces 100 units per year...
    • 2020 August 12, Nigel Harris, “Comment: Rail at the brink? Not yet...”, in Rail, page 3:
      Damage inflicted on the rail industry supply chain, from major contractors to widget manufacturers, would have further profound nationwide consequences on an already damaged industry and wrecked economy.
  2. A floating device inside a beer can, meant to create foam when opened.
  3. A small scraping tool consisting of a blade and a handle, commonly used to remove paint from glass and other smooth surfaces.
    Synonym: scraper

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of window +‎ gadget


widget (plural widgets)

  1. (computing, graphical user interface) Any one of the components of a computer application's graphical user interface, such as a Cancel button or text input box that a user interacts with.
    Synonym: control

Further reading[edit]



Unadapted borrowing from English widget.


  • IPA(key): (everywhere but Argentina and Uruguay) /ˈwiʝet/ [ˈwi.ʝet̪]
  • IPA(key): (Buenos Aires and environs) /ˈwiʃet/ [ˈwi.ʃet̪]
  • IPA(key): (elsewhere in Argentina and Uruguay) /ˈwiʒet/ [ˈwi.ʒet̪]


widget m (plural widgets)

  1. (computing) widget

Usage notes[edit]

According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.