\ ˈglich How to pronounce glitch (audio) \

Definition of glitch

1a : a usually minor malfunction a glitch in a spacecraft's fuel cell also : bug entry 1 sense 2
b : a minor problem that causes a temporary setback : snag
2 : a false or spurious electronic signal

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Other Words from glitch

glitchy \ ˈgli-​chē \ adjective

Did You Know?

There's a glitch in the etymology of glitch - the origins of the word are not known for sure, though it may derive from the Yiddish glitsh, meaning "slippery place." The first documented use of glitch in print in English is found in astronaut John Glenn's 1962 book Into Orbit. In it he wrote, "Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical circuit which takes place when the circuit suddenly has a new load put on it." Today, you don't have to be an astronaut to be familiar with the word glitch, which can be used of any minor malfunction or snag.

Examples of glitch in a Sentence

Glitches in the speaker's schedule caused some delays. A technical glitch caused a temporary shutdown.

Recent Examples on the Web

An outage at Los Angeles International Airport in June caused multiple flights to be canceled because of a glitch at a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power station. Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times, "John Wayne Airport back open after power outage caused flight cancellations," 3 Aug. 2019 While some of the glitches are simply chuckle-worthy, there is one that is sure to be a major headache for players. Dan Gartland,, "A ‘Madden 20’ Glitch Makes Lamar Jackson More Unstoppable Than Michael Vick," 29 July 2019 The network failure, which began Thursday afternoon local time and was resolved by the evening, arose because of a software glitch that affected Ericsson telecom equipment world-wide, SoftBank said. Mayumi Negishi, WSJ, "Cell Service in Japan Goes Down for Hours, Clouding Year’s Biggest IPO," 6 Dec. 2018 The Internal Revenue Service is extending its tax filing deadline by one day to U.S. residents because of a technical glitch that affected the agency’s website. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "IRS Offers One-Day Tax Filing Extension After Online Snafu," 17 Apr. 2018 The outrage over technical glitches that kill those chances can spill over into complaints and memes on Twitter and elsewhere. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Nike’s app for sneakerheads is fueling its digital business," 28 June 2019 Just a few minutes after his less-than-favorable review of the debate, Trump was at it again, this time slamming the debate host NBC for a technical glitch that stopped the program for a few minutes. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "'Disconnected from reality': Donald Trump, other Republicans slam Democratic debate," 26 June 2019 The debate, briefly marred by a technical glitch that forced a commercial break, opened a series of 12 planned between now and springtime 2020. Mark Z. Barabak,, "Democratic debate: Candidates tackle immigration, taxes, climate change and guns," 26 June 2019 Such technical glitches are one reason that previous attempts at cloud gaming, by firms such as OnLive (which launched its service in 2010 but shut down in 2015), failed to catch on. The Economist, "Video gaming enters the cloud," 15 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glitch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of glitch

1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for glitch

perhaps from Yiddish glitsh slippery place, from glitshn (zikh) to slide, glide; akin to Old High German glītan to glide — more at glide

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Statistics for glitch

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for glitch

The first known use of glitch was in 1958

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More Definitions for glitch



English Language Learners Definition of glitch

informal : an unexpected and usually minor problem especially : a minor problem with a machine or device (such as a computer)


\ ˈglich How to pronounce glitch (audio) \

Kids Definition of glitch

: a usually minor problem

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More from Merriam-Webster on glitch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glitch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glitch

Spanish Central: Translation of glitch

Nglish: Translation of glitch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glitch for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about glitch

Comments on glitch

What made you want to look up glitch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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