bug

1 [buhg]
noun
1.
Also called true bug, hemipteran, hemipteron. a hemipterous insect.
2.
(loosely) any insect or insectlike invertebrate.
3.
Informal. any microorganism, especially a virus: He was laid up for a week by an intestinal bug.
4.
Informal. a defect or imperfection, as in a mechanical device, computer program, or plan; glitch: The test flight discovered the bugs in the new plane.
5.
Informal.
a.
a person who has a great enthusiasm for something; fan or hobbyist: a hi-fi bug.
b.
a craze or obsession: He's got the sports-car bug.
6.
Informal.
a.
a hidden microphone or other electronic eavesdropping device.
b.
any of various small mechanical or electrical gadgets, as one to influence a gambling device, give warning of an intruder, or indicate location.
7.
a mark, as an asterisk, that indicates a particular item, level, etc.
8.
Horse Racing. the five-pound weight allowance that can be claimed by an apprentice jockey.
9.
a telegraph key that automatically transmits a series of dots when moved to one side and one dash when moved to the other.
10.
Poker Slang. a joker that can be used only as an ace or as a wild card to fill a straight or a flush.
11.
Printing. a label printed on certain matter to indicate that it was produced by a union shop.
12.
any of various fishing plugs resembling an insect.
13.
Chiefly British. a bedbug.
verb (used with object), bugged, bugging. Informal.
14.
to install a secret listening device in (a room, building, etc.) or on (a telephone or other device): The phone had been bugged.
15.
to bother; annoy; pester: She's bugging him to get her into show business.
Verb phrases
16.
bug off, Slang. to leave or depart, especially rapidly: I can't help you, so bug off.
17.
bug out, Slang. to flee in panic; show panic or alarm.
Idioms
18.
put a bug in someone's ear, to give someone a subtle suggestion; hint: We put a bug in his ear about a new gymnasium.

Origin:
1615–25; 1885–90 for def 4; 1910–15 for def 5a; 1915–20 for def 14; 1945–50 for def 15; earlier bugge beetle, apparently alteration of Middle English budde, Old English -budda beetle; sense “leave” obscurely related to other senses and perhaps of distinct orig.

unbugged, adjective


15. nag, badger, harass, plague, needle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

bug

2 [buhg]
noun Obsolete.
a bogy; hobgoblin.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English bugge scarecrow, demon, perhaps < Welsh bwg ghost

Bug

[buhg; Polish, Russian book]
noun
1.
a river in E central Europe, rising in W Ukraine and forming part of the boundary between Poland and Ukraine, flowing NW to the Vistula River in Poland. 450 miles (725 km) long.
2.
a river in SW Ukraine flowing SE to the Dnieper estuary. About 530 miles (850 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
bug1 (bʌɡ)
 
n
1.  assassin bug bedbug See also chinch bug any insect of the order Hemiptera, esp any of the suborder Heteroptera, having piercing and sucking mouthparts specialized as a beak (rostrum)
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) any insect, such as the June bug or the Croton bug
3.  informal
 a.  a microorganism, esp a bacterium, that produces disease
 b.  a disease, esp a stomach infection, caused by a microorganism
4.  informal an obsessive idea, hobby, etc; craze (esp in the phrases get the bug, be bitten by the bug, the bug bites, etc)
5.  informal a person having such a craze; enthusiast
6.  informal (often plural) an error or fault, as in a machine or system, esp in a computer or computer program
7.  informal a concealed microphone used for recording conversations, as in spying
8.  (US) (in poker) a joker used as an ace or wild card to complete a straight or flush
 
vb , bugs, bugging, bugged
9.  (tr) to irritate; bother
10.  (tr) to conceal a microphone in (a room, etc)
11.  (US) (intr) (of eyes) to protrude
 
[C16: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Old English budda beetle]

bug2 (bʌɡ)
 
n
obsolete an evil spirit or spectre; hobgoblin
 
[C14 bugge, perhaps from Middle Welsh bwg ghost. See also bugbear, bugaboo]

bug3 (bʌɡ)
 
vb
a past tense and past participle of big

Bug (Russian buk)
 
n
1.  Also called: Southern Bug a river in E Europe, rising in W Ukraine and flowing southeast to the Dnieper estuary and the Black Sea. Length: 853 km (530 miles)
2.  Also called: Western Bug a river in E Europe, rising in SW Ukraine and flowing northwest to the River Vistula in Poland, forming part of the border between Poland and Ukraine. Length: 724 km (450 miles)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bug
"insect," 1620s (earliest reference is to bedbugs), probably from M.E. bugge "something frightening, scarecrow" (late 14c.), a meaning obsolete except in bugbear (1570s) and bugaboo (q.v.); probably connected with Scot. bogill "goblin, bugbear,"
or obsolete Welsh bwg "ghost, goblin" (cf. Welsh bwgwl "threat," earlier "fear"). Cf. also bogey (1) and Ger. bögge, böggel-mann "goblin." Perhaps influenced in meaning by O.E. -budda used in compounds for "beetle" (cf. Low Ger. budde "louse, grub," M.L.G. buddech "thick, swollen"). Meaning "defect in a machine" (1889) may have been coined c.1878 by Thomas Edison (perhaps with the notion of an insect getting into the works). Meaning "person obsessed by an idea" (e.g. firebug) is from 1841. Sense of "microbe, germ" is from 1919. Bugs "crazy" is from c.1900.

bug
"to bulge," 1870s, perhaps from a humorous or dialect mispronunciation of bulge. The verb "to annoy, irritate" is first attested 1949, probably in allusion to insect pests, from bug (n.). Sense of "equip with a concealed microphone" is from 1919. Related: Bugged; bugging. Phrase
bug off is 1950s, perhaps from bugger off, which is chiefly British (by 1920s) but was picked up in U.S. Air Force slang in the Korean War.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

bug (bŭg)
n.

  1. A true bug, specifically one having a beaklike structure that allows piercing and sucking.

  2. An insect or similar organism, such as a centipede or an earwig.

  3. A disease-producing microorganism, such as a flu bug.

  4. The illness or disease so produced.

  5. A defect or difficulty, as in a system or design.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
bug   (bŭg)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An insect belonging to the suborder Heteroptera. See more at true bug.

  2. An insect, spider, or similar organism. Not in scientific use.


Our Living Language  : The word bug is often used to refer to tiny creatures that crawl along, such as insects and even small animals that are not insects, such as spiders and millipedes. But for scientists the word has a much narrower meaning. In the strictest terms bugs are those insects that have mouthparts adapted for piercing and sucking. The mouthparts of these bugs are contained in a beak-shaped structure. Thus scientists would classify a louse but not a beetle or a cockroach as a bug. In fact, scientists often call lice and their relatives true bugs to distinguish them better from what everyone else calls "bugs."
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

bug definition


A generic term that describes a malfunction of undetermined origin in a computer or other electronic device.

Note: The term originated in the 1940s when the examination of a large computer revealed that an actual insect had landed on one of the circuits, shorting it out and shutting the machine down.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang Dictionary

bug definition


  1. n.
    a flaw in a computer program. : As soon as I get the bugs out, I can run my program.
  2. n.
    someone who is enthusiastic about something. (A combining form.) : Mary is a camera bug.
  3. n.
    an obsession or urge. : I've got this bug about making money.
  4. n.
    a spy device for listening to someone's conversation. : I found a little bug taped under my chair.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

bug definition

programming
An unwanted and unintended property of a program or piece of hardware, especially one that causes it to malfunction. Antonym of feature. E.g. "There's a bug in the editor: it writes things out backward." The identification and removal of bugs in a program is called "debugging".
Admiral Grace Hopper (an early computing pioneer better known for inventing COBOL) liked to tell a story in which a technician solved a glitch in the Harvard Mark II machine by pulling an actual insect out from between the contacts of one of its relays, and she subsequently promulgated bug in its hackish sense as a joke about the incident (though, as she was careful to admit, she was not there when it happened). For many years the logbook associated with the incident and the actual bug in question (a moth) sat in a display case at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC). The entire story, with a picture of the logbook and the moth taped into it, is recorded in the "Annals of the History of Computing", Vol. 3, No. 3 (July 1981), pp. 285--286.
The text of the log entry (from September 9, 1947), reads "1545 Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found". This wording establishes that the term was already in use at the time in its current specific sense - and Hopper herself reports that the term "bug" was regularly applied to problems in radar electronics during WWII.
Indeed, the use of "bug" to mean an industrial defect was already established in Thomas Edison's time, and a more specific and rather modern use can be found in an electrical handbook from 1896 ("Hawkin's New Catechism of Electricity", Theo. Audel & Co.) which says: "The term "bug" is used to a limited extent to designate any fault or trouble in the connections or working of electric apparatus." It further notes that the term is "said to have originated in quadruplex telegraphy and have been transferred to all electric apparatus."
The latter observation may explain a common folk etymology of the term; that it came from telephone company usage, in which "bugs in a telephone cable" were blamed for noisy lines. Though this derivation seems to be mistaken, it may well be a distorted memory of a joke first current among *telegraph* operators more than a century ago!
Actually, use of "bug" in the general sense of a disruptive event goes back to Shakespeare! In the first edition of Samuel Johnson's dictionary one meaning of "bug" is "A frightful object; a walking spectre"; this is traced to "bugbear", a Welsh term for a variety of mythological monster which (to complete the circle) has recently been reintroduced into the popular lexicon through fantasy role-playing games.
In any case, in jargon the word almost never refers to insects. Here is a plausible conversation that never actually happened:
"There is a bug in this ant farm!"
"What do you mean? I don't see any ants in it."
"That's the bug."
[There has been a widespread myth that the original bug was moved to the Smithsonian, and an earlier version of this entry so asserted. A correspondent who thought to check discovered that the bug was not there. While investigating this in late 1990, your editor discovered that the NSWC still had the bug, but had unsuccessfully tried to get the Smithsonian to accept it - and that the present curator of their History of American Technology Museum didn't know this and agreed that it would make a worthwhile exhibit. It was moved to the Smithsonian in mid-1991, but due to space and money constraints has not yet been exhibited. Thus, the process of investigating the original-computer-bug bug fixed it in an entirely unexpected way, by making the myth true! - ESR]
[Jargon File]
(1999-06-29)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

bug

In addition to the idioms beginning with bug, also see cute as a button (bug's ear); put a bug in someone's ear; snug as a bug in a rug; what's eating (bugging) you.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The millennium computer bug is totally predictable in its timing, but
  completely unpredictable in its effects.
One thing computer programmers agree on is that there is no such thing as a
  bug-free piece of software.
And, he is the guy a bug calls when it needs an agent.
Bring you rod, bug spray and the best hiking boots you can afford and you will
  never be let down.
Images for bug
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