Pronunciation Noun

bug (plural bugs)

  1. (entomology) An insect of the order Hemiptera (the “true bugs”).
  2. Any of various species of marine or freshwater crustaceans; e.g. a Morton Bay bug, mudbug.
  3. (colloquial) 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.
  4. (colloquial, US) Any insect, arachnid, myriapod or entognath.
  5. (chiefly, computing and engineering jargon) A problem that needs fixing.
    Synonyms: defect, glitch
    The software bug led the computer to calculate 2 plus 2 as 3.
  6. A contagious illness; a bacterium or virus causing it
    He’s got the flu bug.
  7. (informal) An enthusiasm for something; an obsession
    I think he’s a gold bug: he has over 10,000 ounces in storage.
    I caught the skiing bug while staying in the Alps.
  8. (informal) A keen enthusiast or hobbyist.
    • 1961, Kiplinger's Personal Finance (volume 15, number 12, page 34)
      Incidentally, the camera manufacturers have had a new worry—that they might "kill off the hobby," as U.S. Camera magazine put it recently—by automating to the point that real camera bugs would feel no challenge.
  9. A concealed electronic eavesdropping or intercept device
    We installed a bug in her telephone.
  10. A small 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.
  11. (broadcasting) 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.
  12. (aviation) A manually positioned marker in flight instruments.
  13. A semi-automated telegraph key.
  14. (obsolete) Hobgoblin, scarecrow; anything that terrifies. [late 14th c.–early 17th. c]
    Synonyms: bog, bogey, bogle, boggle, boggard, bugbear
    • c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Sir, spare your threats: / The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
  15. (chiefly, LGBT, "the bug") HIV.
  16. (poker) A limited form of wild card in some variants of poker.
  17. (paleontology, slang) A trilobite.
    • 2007, Kirk Johnson, Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway, p. 174:
      We asked Harris if he had any recommendations about seeing the famous trilobite digs. He said we should just drive out to his claim in the Wheeler Quadrangle, and it was just fine with him if we dug a few bugs.
  18. (petroleum industry, slang, dated) Synonym of oil bug#English|oil bug
    • July 1933, Popular Science:
      Now, only three years later, most of the major oil companies maintain staffs of these men who examine cores, classify the various types of "bugs," or foraminifera, and make charts showing the depths at which each of the hundreds of types is found.
  19. (slang, horse-racing) A young apprentice jockey.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: logo
  • German: Logo
  • Italian: logo della rete

bug (bugs, present participle bugging; past and past participle bugged)

  1. (informal, transitive) To annoy.
    Don’t bug me, I’m busy!
  2. (transitive) To install an electronic listening device or devices in.
    We need to know what’s going on. We’ll bug his house.
Synonyms Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. A river flowing northwest 450 miles between Belarus and Poland.
  2. A river in Ukraine, flowing 530 miles to the Dnieper estuary.
  • Russian: Буг

bug (plural bugs)

  1. (slang) A Volkswagen Beetle car.

bug (plural bugs)

  1. (slang) A Bugatti car.

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