\ ˈglich How to pronounce glitch (audio) \

Definition of glitch

1a : a usually minor malfunction a glitch in a spacecraft's fuel cell also : bug entry 1 sense 2
b : a minor problem that causes a temporary setback : snag
2 : a false or spurious electronic signal

Other Words from glitch

glitchy \ ˈgli-​chē \ adjective

Did you know?

There's a glitch in the etymology of glitch—the origins of the word are not known for sure, though it may derive from the Yiddish glitsh, meaning "slippery place." Glitch started showing up in print in English in the mid-20th century in reference to a brief unexpected surge of electrical current. The term was new enough in 1962 that the astronaut John Glenn, writing in the book Into Orbit, felt the need to explain the term to his readers: "Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical circuit which takes place when the circuit suddenly has a new load put on it." Today, you don't have to be an astronaut to be familiar with the word glitch, which can be used of any minor malfunction or snag.

Examples of glitch in a Sentence

Glitches in the speaker's schedule caused some delays. A technical glitch caused a temporary shutdown.
Recent Examples on the Web Nearby, a couple cleared space on their table for a procession of dishes caused by a technical glitch. Washington Post, 31 Dec. 2021 Others were omitted from the C.M.S. ratings website because of what regulators describe as a technical glitch. New York Times, 9 Dec. 2021 Rittenhouse's defense team said the prosecution sent a compressed, lower-quality version of the video during the trial, which the prosecution described as a technical glitch. Eric Levenson, CNN, 19 Nov. 2021 The theater’s response to the complaint also rankled many, but leaders said the late payment was due to a technical glitch. Matthew J. Palm,, 6 Aug. 2021 In March, hundreds of the lights — mostly in the southeast region — began changing color from white to purple because of a technical glitch in the bulb. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 July 2021 And why couldn’t someone help solve what was pretty obviously a technical glitch?, 7 July 2021 Instagram acknowledged the removals, which also affected posts about Colombia and Indigenous communities in the U.S. and Canada, but its CEO, Adam Mosseri, blamed them on a technical glitch, in a series of tweets on May 7. Dalia Hatuqa, Time, 12 May 2021 Another technical glitch for D.C.’s unemployment claims website has left thousands of people waiting weeks for benefits, WUSA-TV reports. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2021

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

1958, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for glitch

perhaps from Yiddish glitsh slippery place, from glitshn (zikh) to slide, glide; akin to Old High German glītan to glide — more at glide

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Glitch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for glitch



English Language Learners Definition of glitch

: an unexpected and usually minor problem especially : a minor problem with a machine or device (such as a computer)


\ ˈglich How to pronounce glitch (audio) \

Kids Definition of glitch

: a usually minor problem


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