Bug Definition

bŭg
bugged, bugging, bugs
noun
bugs
Any of an order (Hemiptera) of insects with sucking mouthparts and with forewings thickened toward the base, as a water bug or squash bug.
Webster's New World
An insect of any kind, such as a cockroach or a ladybug.
American Heritage Medicine
Any small arthropod, esp. if regarded as a pest, as a louse, cockroach, or centipede.
Webster's New World
A disease-producing microorganism or agent.
A flu bug.
American Heritage Medicine
Any microscopic organism, esp. one causing disease; germ or virus.
Webster's New World
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verb
bugged, bugging, bugs
To bulge or open wide, as in amazement.
Webster's New World
To hide a microphone in (a room, etc.), as for recording a conversation secretly.
Webster's New World
To annoy, bother, anger, etc.
Webster's New World
To confuse or puzzle.
Webster's New World
To prey on; worry.
A memory that bugged me for years.
American Heritage
Antonyms:
  • not bother
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proper name
River in S Ukraine, flowing southeastward into the Black Sea: 530 mi (853 km)
Webster's New World
River in W Ukraine, flowing northwestward into the Vistula near Warsaw and forming part of the border with Poland: 500 mi (805 km)
Webster's New World
other
A river of eastern Europe rising in southwest Ukraine and flowing about 770 km (480 mi) through Poland to the Vistula River near Warsaw.
American Heritage
A river of southern Ukraine rising in the southwest part and flowing about 853 km (530 mi) generally southeast to the Black Sea.
American Heritage

An error in coding or logic that causes a computer software program to malfunction (i.e., perform erratically, suffer catastrophic failure (crash), or produce invalid results. Although the origin of the term bug is somewhat in dispute, folklore dates it the mid-to-late 1940s, when a moth attracted to the light given off by the vacuum tubes of one of the first digital computers, either the Mark I or the ENIAC, died and shorted one of the circuits, causing a system failure. Others attribute the term to Thomas Edison (1878). So much for the etymology of bug. As for entomology, a moth is not a bug, strictly speaking. A true bug has thickened forewings and mouth parts adapted for piercing and sucking, and is of the insect order Hemiptera, which includes aphids, cicadas, and squash bugs. Moths suck, but do not pierce, and belong to the order Lepidoptera, as do butterflies. (Note: There are two kinds of people in this world -those who just love this arcane trivia, and those who hate it. I love it, in moderation. "Arcane trivia" is somewhat tautological, which is a pedantic word for redundant. There are two types of people in this world -- those who love pedants and those who hate them. I hate them.) By the way, a bug fix is in the form of a patch, update, upgrade, or insecticide, depending on the type of bug involved. See also bug fix; Edison,Thomas Alva; entomology; etymology; and pedant.

Webster's New World Telecom
Defined nowadays as a programming error in a software program and usually having undesirable effects, the term allegedly stems from a real insect that was found to have disturbed operations in one of the early computer systems.
Webster's New World Hacker
An undocumented feature. (That's a joke.)
Webster's New World Telecom
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idiom
put a bug in (someone's) ear
  • To impart useful information to (another) in a subtle, discreet way.
American Heritage
bug off
  • to stop annoying someone and leave
Webster's New World
bug out
  • to run away; desert
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Bug

Noun

Singular:
bug
Plural:
bugs

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Bug

Origin of Bug

  • Perhaps alteration (influenced by obsolete bug hobgoblin bugbear) of Middle English boude, budde beetle, weevil from Old English -budda as in scearnbudda dung beetle Low German dialectal budde louse

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English budde (“beetle”), from Old English budda (see scearnbudda (“dung beetle”)), from Proto-Germanic *buddô, *buzdô (compare Low German Budde (“louse, grub”), Norwegian budda (“newborn domestic animal”)). More at bud.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English bugge (“scarecrow, hobgoblin”), from Proto-Germanic *bugja- (“swollen up, thick”) (compare Norwegian bugge (“big man”), dialectal Low German Bögge (“goblin”, “snot”)

    From Wiktionary

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