Definition of kludge
: a system and especially a computer system made up of poorly matched components
kludgyor less commonly
kludgey\ˈklü-jē, US also and British especially ˈklə-\ adjective
kludge was our Word of the Day on 07/31/2014. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of kludge from the Web
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.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of kludge
First Known Use: 1962See Words from the same year
KLUDGE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of kludge for English Language Learners
: an awkward or inferior computer system or program that is created quickly to solve a problem
Seen and Heard
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