\ˈglich \

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

The condition is caused by a DNA glitch in chromosome 15. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 Curiosity is experiencing some sort of computer glitch at the moment. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "An Unexpected Component Helped Curiosity Observe a Martian Dust Storm," 27 Sep. 2018 However the first mission failed to achieve orbit because of a glitch with communication equipment on the ground. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch Rocket Lab try again to launch its first commercial mission to space," 10 Nov. 2018 After evidence of glitches surfaced on three of the jet’s earlier flights, Boeing issued an alert to pilots on how to handle situations where sensors measuring speed and altitude are malfunctioning, feeding faulty data to the cockpit. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The FAA, Boeing Issue Alerts for 737 Max 8 Planes After Lion Air Crash," 9 Nov. 2018 The first year of any school is full of glitches and missteps, but what happened at Willie Brown seemed extreme. Daniel Duane, WIRED, "How the Startup Mentality Failed Kids in San Francisco," 28 June 2018 Sallie Hilvers, vice president of marketing and communications for Cincinnati Metro, said that the department is aware of the glitch and working with its app's vendor, Passport, to fix the problem quickly. Taylor Jade Powell,, "Cincy EZRide app glitch: How to get your refund," 25 Apr. 2018 Parts of the tax payment and refund system went down early Tuesday morning because of a glitch on the IRS’ servers. Dara Lind, Vox, "The IRS has fixed its glitch," 18 Apr. 2018 Several plants have flunked these because of poor hygiene or deficient processes, such as a failure to keep track of manufacturing glitches. The Economist, "Indian drugmakers need a new prescription," 22 Mar. 2018

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

12 Dec 2018

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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

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


\ˈglich \

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

Spanish Central: Translation of glitch

Nglish: Translation of glitch for Spanish Speakers

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

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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