\ ˈklüj How to pronounce kludge (audio) \
variants: or kluge \ ˈklüj How to pronounce kludge (audio) , US also and British especially  ˈkləj ; ˈklü-​jē How to pronounce kludge (audio) \

Definition of kludge

: a haphazard or makeshift solution to a problem and especially to a computer or programming problem Just getting your documents into and out of the iPad is a kludge. You must e-mail them back and forth to yourself or sync to your computer using iTunes software.— Steve Morgenstern

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from kludge

kludgy or less commonly kludgey \ ˈklü-​jē How to pronounce kludge (audio) , US also and British especially  ˈklə-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

The first recorded use of the word kludge is attributed to Jackson W. Granholm, who defined the word in a 1962 issue of the magazine Datamation as: "an ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole." He further explained that it was derived from the German word klug, meaning "smart" or "witty." Why Granholm included a "d" in his spelling is not known. What we do know is that speakers of American English have agreed to keep it silent, making the vowel pronunciation of kludge reflect the pronunciation of German klug (KLOOK). We can also tell you that not everyone agrees with Granholm on the "d" matter: the spelling "kluge" is also popularly used.

Examples of kludge in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hybrid schedule exists solely as a kludge and back-formation from the standard six-foot guideline for social distancing. David Zweig, Wired, "Hybrid Schooling Is the Most Dangerous Option of All," 6 Aug. 2020 And while there surely is a lot of regulatory kludge (or maybe sludge?) that has developed through the years that could be removed without harm, there’s not much evidence of a systematic effort to do that. Washington Post, "About That Big Regulatory Rollback ...," 28 Feb. 2019 Its eight episodes comprise a centerless, ham-handed kludge of a season, one that keeps beating you over the head with music and ACTING and plot twists to try to convince you everything that’s happening is Important. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "House of Cards’ dismal ending proves it never had anything to say," 2 Nov. 2018 And there are various other fourth-best kludges, ways of wedging a de facto price on carbon into markets. David Roberts, Vox, "Batteries have a dirty secret," 27 Apr. 2018 Everyone who supports decarbonization would prefer a large and rising carbon price to all these kludges. David Roberts, Vox, "The latest state to get serious about climate change is ... New Jersey?," 20 Apr. 2018 In Apple’s view, the interference was in consumers’ best interest: a kludge to halt shutdowns caused by outdated lithium-ion electrodes. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Tech Dissatisfaction, Version 99.0," 23 Jan. 2018 Meant to evoke something sporty, like a jet ski, instead of a lumbering Cessna or a tough-to-fly experimental kludge, the plane is supposed to let anyone who can afford the $139,000 price tag become a barnstormer. Carl Hoffman, WIRED, "This Plane Is Slick as a Sports Car, Portable as a Jet Ski," 7 Oct. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kludge.' 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 kludge

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kludge

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kludge

Listen to Our Podcast about kludge

Statistics for kludge

Cite this Entry

“Kludge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kludge. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kludge



English Language Learners Definition of kludge

: an awkward or inferior computer system or program that is created quickly to solve a problem

More from Merriam-Webster on kludge

Nglish: Translation of kludge for Spanish Speakers

Comments on kludge

What made you want to look up kludge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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