\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 scores do not include re-tests, and the TEA is expected to factor out scores for students negatively impacted by electronic glitches in administration of any test. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "See early test scores from Houston ISD's 10 targeted schools," 3 July 2018 Tesla has been struggling with bottlenecks and other glitches in its Model 3 assembly process. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, "Tesla Achieves a Key Weekly Goal for Producing Its Model 3," 2 July 2018 The 23-year-old fouled three times in hammer at an NCAA regional qualifying meet, a rare glitch in her consistent excellence as a junior and senior under ASU throws coach Brian Blutreich. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU's Maggie Ewen: Missing out on hammer throw made winning shot put, discus possible," 12 June 2018 Boeing swiftly moved to smooth over the glitch in its visa application system and the Russians were allowed in. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Trump Russia announcement catches Boeing off guard; spying an everyday concern for defense contractor," 26 Mar. 2018 Republicans continued to press to fix a glitch in the recent tax bill that subsidizes grain sales to cooperatives at the expense of for-profit grain companies, lawmakers said. Andrew Taylor,, "Border wall holds up $1.3 trillion U.S. spending bill with Friday deadline," 20 Mar. 2018 In the past decade, at least two nonmilitary US satellite systems have experienced brief, unattributed glitches tied to hacking attacks. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 Tarrant County school districts are working with the Texas Education Agency to determine how many students were impacted by glitches to this year's STAAR online testing system that were described as source of frustration for students and educators. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "School districts working to determine how many students were affected by STAAR glitch," 4 June 2018 But the Cradle itself send commands to the parks, not unlike the way the Matrix papers over glitches with deja vu. Meagan Fredette,, "The Cradle On Westworld Is Capable Of So Much More Than We Expected," 28 May 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

17 Oct 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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