\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Later, one of our favorite YouTubers, PatrickStarrr, tells some of his most embarrassing moments, from his first kiss to the biggest glitch he's experienced on set (Madelaine Petsch was involved!!). Erika Trombley, Seventeen, "Olympic Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu Shares Her Confidence Tips and They’re Relatable AF," 15 Mar. 2019 The device reportedly encountered a glitch, with an inaccurate signal triggering an automatic nose-down security function, meant to steer the aircraft downward in the event of its nose raising too high. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Authorities Find Cockpit Voice Recorder of Crashed Lion Air Flight 610," 14 Jan. 2019 After some brief technical glitches with microphones in the hearing chamber, the testimony begins. Emily Tillett, CBS News, "Christopher Wylie: Bannon wanted "weapons" to fight a "culture war" at Cambridge Analytica," 16 May 2018 Test glitches with the PARCC exams that Ohio used in 2015 led the state to fire that testing consortium and hire AIR instead. Patrick O'donnell,, "Computer errors wipe out day of testing for Ohio's state tests," 18 Apr. 2018 The airliner is one of Boeing's most popular planes, and the same model involved in the Lion Air crash that killed 189 passengers last November when the plane encountered a technical glitch and plummeted into the Java Sea. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Now Britain Is Grounding All Boeing 737 Max 8 Jets Following Catastrophic Ethiopia Crash," 11 Mar. 2019 In fact, some precincts across the country have dealt with long lines and technical glitches that keep voters waiting for hours to cast their ballots. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Voters Across the Country Are Running Into Issues at the Polls," 6 Nov. 2018 The bureau wants most Americans to answer it online, a major switch that should make the count more efficient but also creates the risk of cybersecurity threats and technical glitches. Janet Adamy, WSJ, "Supreme Court Won’t Postpone Trial on Census Citizenship Question," 2 Nov. 2018 The launch had intially been scheduled for early Saturday, but last-minute technical glitches ate away at the launch window, prompting a 24-hour delay. James Rogers, Fox News, "NASA's Parker Solar Probe blasts off on epic journey to 'touch the Sun'," 12 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glitch

Listen to Our Podcast about glitch

Statistics for glitch

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glitch

The first known use of glitch was in 1958

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!