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

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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 One scaly gremlin bites the head off a gingerbread man, with a whole stack of other men awaiting their execution. Tim Carman, Houston Chronicle, "The 10 greatest food scenes from holiday movies and what they really mean," 24 Dec. 2019 My love of being a happy little house-gremlin is why no one could get me on a video call—up until a few weeks ago, that is. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "I Normally Hate Video Chatting—Coronavirus Changed My Mind," 24 Mar. 2020 One scaly gremlin bites the head off a gingerbread man, with a whole stack of other men awaiting their execution. Tim Carman, Houston Chronicle, "The 10 greatest food scenes from holiday movies and what they really mean," 24 Dec. 2019 One scaly gremlin bites the head off a gingerbread man, with a whole stack of other men awaiting their execution. Tim Carman, Houston Chronicle, "The 10 greatest food scenes from holiday movies and what they really mean," 24 Dec. 2019 One scaly gremlin bites the head off a gingerbread man, with a whole stack of other men awaiting their execution. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "The 10 greatest food scenes from holiday movies and what they really mean," 18 Dec. 2019 Segovia said later that the statement did not come from his office, but rather from the city — as if gremlins produced it. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: Provocative art video leaves city officials looking like prudes," 22 Feb. 2020 Whether that proves to be the case will come down to whether those electrical gremlins are passing flukes or recurring faults. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Our Ram 1500 Shines as a Luxurious, Go-Anywhere Snow Machine," 28 Jan. 2020 Also at Hotel Madrid and kind of resembling a gremlin is a Baby Yoda mural. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From pop-up bars to bar crawls, here are 7 places around Milwaukee to get in the holiday spirit," 11 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for gremlin

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gremlin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gremlin. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for gremlin

gremlin

noun
How to pronounce gremlin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gremlin

: a small imaginary creature that is blamed when something (such as a machine) does not work properly

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More from Merriam-Webster on gremlin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gremlin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gremlin

Spanish Central: Translation of gremlin

Nglish: Translation of gremlin for Spanish Speakers

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