- Trash, debris, or other unwanted matter that accumulates over time.
- Unnecessary digital information that accumulates over time, such as unneeded files or obsolete lines of code in software: “By removing cruft, you can recover valuable disk space … and reduce the chance of software conflicts” ( Joe Kissell )
Origin of cruftOriginally 1950s Massachusetts Institute of Technology students' slang perhaps after Cruft Hall (the informal name for Cruft Laboratory, a building on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the physics department stored unused technical equipment), humorously taken as “hall of cruft” ( perhaps influenced by crud ) ( and crust )
Uncertain: possibly from Cruft Hall, the name of the radar laboratory of Harvard's physics department during the Second World War, which contained much old and unused technical equipment; possibly a blend of crust and fluff, both of which suggest things that are obsolete and superfluous; possibly a modified form of crust.
cruft - Computer Definition
Programming code that is redundant or poorly written. It may also refer to collections of old hardware parts that are obsolete. The term's derivation is unknown, but some think it came from Harvard University's Cruft Laboratory, where discarded equipment had been seen lying around for years.