Date: 1600-1700
Origin: Perhaps from bug 'evil spirit, scarecrow' (14-18 centuries)


1 noun
bug1 [countable]
1 informal an illness that people catch very easily from each other but is not very serious
catch/pick up/get a bug
I picked up a bug last weekend.
There's a nasty bug going round (=which a lot of people have caught).
tummy/stomach bug (=illness affecting your stomach)
He's off work with a stomach bug.
a 24-hour flu bug
2 especially American EnglishHBI a small insect
3TD a fault in the system of instructions that operates a computer:
a bug in the software
4 a small piece of electronic equipment for listening secretly to other people's conversations
5 informal a sudden strong interest in doing something
the travel/sailing etc bug
She's got the travel bug.
I had one flying lesson and immediately caught the bug (=became very interested in flying).
WORD FOCUS: computer WORD FOCUS: computer
people who work with computers: user, programmer, web designer, IT person, software engineer, (systems) analyst, administrator, webmaster, helpdesk, techie informal, geek disapproving informal

someone who tries to break into a computer system: hacker, cracker

things you do with your computer: start up/power up your computer
a file or document
click on
an icon
cut and paste
pieces of text
files or programs
scroll up and down
the page
things you do not want
files or pictures from the Internet
CDs or DVDs
a file or document
your work
shut down
your computer

computer problems: bug, virus, error, corrupted file/data, crash, worm

See also

Dictionary results for "bug"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.