What does bug mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term bug:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bug(noun)

    general term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate

  2. bug, glitch(noun)

    a fault or defect in a computer program, system, or machine

  3. bug(noun)

    a small hidden microphone; for listening secretly

  4. hemipterous insect, bug, hemipteran, hemipteron(noun)

    insects with sucking mouthparts and forewings thickened and leathery at the base; usually show incomplete metamorphosis

  5. microbe, bug, germ(verb)

    a minute life form (especially a disease-causing bacterium); the term is not in technical use

  6. tease, badger, pester, bug, beleaguer(verb)

    annoy persistently

    "The children teased the boy because of his stammer"

  7. wiretap, tap, intercept, bug(verb)

    tap a telephone or telegraph wire to get information

    "The FBI was tapping the phone line of the suspected spy"; "Is this hotel room bugged?"


  1. bug(Noun)

    An insect of the order Hemiptera (the "true bugs").

  2. bug(Noun)

    Any insect, arachnid, or other terrestrial arthropod that is a pest.

    These flies are a bother. I'll get some bug spray and kill them.

  3. bug(Noun)

    Various species of marine crustaceans; e.g. a Morton Bay bug.

  4. bug(Noun)

    A problem that needs fixing, especially in computing.

    The software bug led the computer to calculate 2 plus 2 as 5.

  5. bug(Noun)

    A contagious illness; a bacterium or virus causing it

    He's got the flu bug.

  6. bug(Noun)

    An enthusiasm for something; an obsession

  7. bug(Noun)

    An electronic intercept device

    We installed a bug in her telephone

  8. bug(Noun)

    A small and and usually invisible file (traditionally a single-pixel image) on a World Wide Web page, primarily used to track users.

    He suspected the image was a web bug used for determining who was visiting the site.

  9. bug(Noun)

    A small, usually transparent or translucent image placed in a corner of a television program to indicate what network or cable channel is televising it

    Channel 4's bug distracted Jim from his favorite show

  10. bug(Verb)

    To annoy.

    Don't bug me, I'm busy!

  11. bug(Verb)

    To install an electronic listening device or devices in.

    We need to know what's going on. We'll bug his house.

  12. bug(Noun)

    A manually positioned marker in flight instruments

  13. bug(Noun)

    A semi-automated telegraph key

  14. bug(Noun)

    The HIV.

  15. Bug(ProperNoun)

    the Bug River, flowing northwest 450 mi. between Belarus and Poland.

  16. Bug(ProperNoun)

    the Bug River in the Ukraine, flowing 530 mi. to the Dnieper estuary.

  17. Origin: 1620 (referring to a bedbug); from earlier bugge 'beetle', conflation of (1) bugge 'scarecrow, hobgoblin', from bugja- 'swollen up, thick' (cf. Norwegian bugge 'big man', Low German dialect Bögge 'goblin, snot'); and (2) budde 'beetle', from Old English -budda (cf. scearnbudda 'dung beetle'), from buddōn (compare Low German Budde 'louse, grub', Norwegian budda 'newborn domestic animal'). More at bud.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bug(noun)

    a bugbear; anything which terrifies

  2. Bug(noun)

    a general name applied to various insects belonging to the Hemiptera; as, the squash bug; the chinch bug, etc

  3. Bug(noun)

    an insect of the genus Cimex, especially the bedbug (C. lectularius). See Bedbug

  4. Bug(noun)

    one of various species of Coleoptera; as, the ladybug; potato bug, etc.; loosely, any beetle

  5. Bug(noun)

    one of certain kinds of Crustacea; as, the sow bug; pill bug; bait bug; salve bug, etc

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bug

    bug, n. an object of terror.—ns. Big-bug (slang), an aristocrat; Bug′aboo, a bogy, or object of terror; Bug′bear, an object of terror, generally imaginary.—adj. causing fright. [M. E. bugge, prob. W. bwg, a hobgoblin.]

  2. Bug

    bug, n. a name applied loosely to certain insects, esp. to one (Cimex lectularius) that infests houses and beds: in America applied to any insect.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. bug

    An unwanted and unintended property of a program or piece of hardware, esp. one that causes it to malfunction. Antonym of feature. Examples: “There's a bug in the editor: it writes things out backwards.” “The system crashed because of a hardware bug.” “Fred is a winner, but he has a few bugs” (i.e., Fred is a good guy, but he has a few personality problems).

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Bug

    Any fault or trouble in the connections or working of electric apparatus.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. bug

    An old term for a vessel more remarkable in size than efficiency. Thus, when Drake fell upon Cadiz, his sailors regarded the huge galleys opposed to them as mere "great bugges."

Suggested Resources

  1. BUG

    What does BUG stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the BUG acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bug in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bug in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

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