gremlin

noun

grem·​lin ˈgrem-lən How to pronounce gremlin (audio)
: 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 Bring On Larry Culp Larry Culp assumed the role of GE's inaugural external CEO in October 2018, coinciding with the organization grappling with substantial obstacles such as financial gremlins and operational inefficiencies. Jim Osman, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Over-the-top elements of this architectural style include balconies carved with peering gargoyles and gremlins on gilded buildings. Kristin Braswell, Travel + Leisure, 3 Feb. 2024 As already noted, the AMG EQE SUV doesn't actually go on sale here for another few months, and hopefully that gives Mercedes time to shake out a few gremlins here and there, mostly with the car's advanced driver assistance systems. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 10 July 2023 The herculean effort of moving my body even one tiny inch was rewarded by an invisible gremlin twisting a steak knife even deeper into my back. Marisa Cohen, Parents, 12 Aug. 2023 With the race looming the following Friday, the team spent the few remaining hours turning their electrical gremlins into lawn gnomes When the sun rose on February 10th, the TesTen made its way to staging. Emme Hall, The Verge, 24 Feb. 2023 Is there a gremlin running around bleeding air from out tires? Laura Johnston, cleveland, 22 Nov. 2022 Other worries include the unavailability of certain trim components and persistent electrical gremlins caused by three-decade-old parts from obscure defunct suppliers. Georg Kacher, Car and Driver, 23 Mar. 2023 With the race looming the following Friday, the team spent the few remaining hours turning their electrical gremlins into lawn gnomes. Emme Hall, The Verge, 24 Feb. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

origin unknown

First Known Use

1941, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gremlin was in 1941

Dictionary Entries Near gremlin

Cite this Entry

“Gremlin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gremlin. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

gremlin

noun
grem·​lin ˈgrem-lən How to pronounce gremlin (audio)
: a small mischievous or troublesome creature

More from Merriam-Webster on gremlin

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