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

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

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Other Words from kludge

kludgy or less commonly kludgey \ ˈklü-​jē How to pronounce kludgey (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 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.

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First Known Use of kludge

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kludge

origin unknown

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The first known use of kludge was in 1962

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Cite this Entry

“Kludge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kludgy. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for kludge


How to pronounce kludge (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kludge

Nglish: Translation of kludge for Spanish Speakers

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