: a usually minor malfunction
a glitch in a spacecraft's fuel cell
: a minor problem that causes a temporary setback : snag
: a false or spurious electronic signal

Did you know?

There's a glitch in the etymology of glitch—it may come from the Yiddish glitsh, meaning "slippery place," but that's not certain. Print use of glitch referring to a brief unexpected surge of electrical current dates to the mid-20th century. Astronaut John Glenn, in his 1962 book Into Orbit, felt the need to explain the term to his readers: "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, the word can be used of any minor malfunction or snag. If you’re a gamer you might even take advantage of a glitch that causes something unexpected, and sometimes beneficial, to happen in the game.

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 company appears focused on AI that is intuitive not generative, making artificial intelligence a part of your life that smoothes over glitches or offers helpful predictions without being intrusive. Khari Johnson, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 The Lake County Council quickly adjourned its first budget workshop Thursday without hearing any presentations from department heads in order to provide a little more time to get a few glitches worked out with the new software. Carrie Napoleon, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 Arizona time Tuesday morning because of a technical glitch affecting the carrier. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 5 Sep. 2023 While some opening day glitches can be expected, Ohio State does not have long to solve them. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 5 Sep. 2023 In 2014, a number of European flights faced disruptions following a technical problem on NATS’s air traffic control system, and in 2019, a radar display glitch led to many flight cancellations. Byprarthana Prakash, Fortune, 29 Aug. 2023 The image quickly went viral on social media, with jokes about its origin ranging from aliens to a glitch in the Matrix. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Aug. 2023 Aside from the withdrawal glitch, customers said that the outage was especially frustrating given that the bank charged monthly fees to maintain the account — 6 euros for a personal use account — and called for a reimbursement. Isabella Kwai,, 16 Aug. 2023 Medicaid issued letters to all 50 states, ordering them to review their renewal process for the glitch. Sarah Owermohle, STAT, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'glitch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of glitch was in 1958


Dictionary Entries Near glitch

Cite this Entry

“Glitch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an unexpected usually minor problem
glitches in a new computer program
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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