gremlin

noun
grem·​lin | \ ˈgrem-lən How to pronounce gremlin (audio) \

Definition of gremlin

: a cause of error or equipment malfunction (as in aircraft) conceived of as a small mischievous gnome

Examples of gremlin in a Sentence

during the World Wars, fighter pilots adopted the fanciful notion that gremlins were responsible for mechanical failures on their planes
Recent Examples on the Web Consistency is the gremlin of massive operations like this, and occasionally the engineering of dishes falls short. Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2022 An unrealized Jim Henson film in which the titular character, a fluffy pterodactyl, vanquishes a gremlin based on Lee Atwater. David Kamp, The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2021 And yet, who’s to say a gremlin or a crash isn’t waiting for him in Monterey. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 And yet, who’s to say a gremlin or a crash isn’t waiting for him in Monterey. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 And yet, who’s to say a gremlin or a crash isn’t waiting for him in Monterey. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 And yet, who’s to say a gremlin or a crash isn’t waiting for him in Monterey. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 And yet, who’s to say a gremlin or a crash isn’t waiting for him in Monterey. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 And yet, who’s to say a gremlin or a crash isn’t waiting for him in Monterey. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 18 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of gremlin

1941, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gremlin

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for gremlin

Time Traveler

The first known use of gremlin was in 1941

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Dictionary Entries Near gremlin

gremio

gremlin

gremmie

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Statistics for gremlin

Cite this Entry

“Gremlin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gremlin. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of gremlin for Spanish Speakers

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