AskDefine | Define bug

Dictionary Definition



1 general term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate
2 a fault or defect in a system or machine [syn: glitch]
3 a small hidden microphone; for listening secretly
4 insects with sucking mouthparts and forewings thickened and leathery at the base; usually show incomplete metamorphosis [syn: hemipterous insect, hemipteran, hemipteron]
5 a minute life form (especially a disease-causing bacterium); the term is not in technical use [syn: microbe, germ]


1 annoy persistently; "The children teased the boy because of his stammer" [syn: tease, badger, pester, beleaguer]
2 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?" [syn: wiretap, tap, intercept] [also: bugging, bugged]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /bʌɡ/, /bVg/


  1. An insect of the order Hemiptera (the "true bugs").
  2. A colloquial name for any insect or arachnid that’s a pest.
    These flies are a bother. I’ll get some bug spray and kill them.
  3. Various species of marine crustaceans; e.g. a Morton Bay bug.
  4. A problem that needs fixing, especially in computing.
    The computer program has a bug in it.
  5. A contagious illness; a bacterium or virus causing it.
    He’s got the flu bug.
  6. An enthusiasm for something; an obsession.
    I think he’s a gold bug, he has over 10,000 ounces in storage.
    to catch the skiing bug
  7. An electronic listening device.
    We installed a bug in her telephone.
  8. A small or invisible image on a World Wide Web page, used to track persons who viewed it.
    He suspected the image was a web bug used for determining who was visiting the site.
  9. 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.
    He did not like the network bug that appeared onscreen.
  10. A manually positioned marker in flight instruments.
  11. A semi-automated telegraph key.
    • 1938, Paul Gallico, Farewell to Sport, p257
      At this point your telegraph operator, sitting at your right, goes "Ticky-tick-tickety-de-tick-tick," with his bug, as he calls his transmitter, and looks at you expectantly.
    • 1942, Arthur Reinhold Nilson, Radio Code Manual, p134
      As far as the dashes are concerned, the bug is the same in operation as any regular key would be if it were turned up on edge instead of sitting flat on the desk.
    • 1986, E. L. Doctorow, World's Fair, p282
      I was a very good radio operator. I bought my own bug. That's what the telegraph key in its modern form was called. It was semiautomatic.

Derived terms


an insect of the order Hemiptera
  • Chinese traditional/simplified: 臭蟲, 臭虫 (chòu chóng)
  • Croatian: buba
  • Dutch: insect
  • Finnish: lude
  • French: insecte
  • Italian: scarafaggio
  • Russian: жук (žuk)
  • Slovene: hrošč
  • Turkish: böcek
a colloquial name for insect
  • Chinese traditional/simplified: , (chóng)
  • Dutch: insect
  • Finnish: ötökkä
  • French: insecte
  • German: Wanze
  • Greek: κοριός, ζωύφιο
  • Hebrew: ג'וק (juq)
  • Italian: bacarozzo
  • Japanese: (mushi)
  • Maltese: insett żgħir
  • Polish: robak, robal , owad
  • Portuguese: inseto
  • Russian: насекомое
  • Slovene: žužek
  • Turkish: böcek
various species of marine crustaceans
problem that needs fixing (esp. in computing)
contagious illness, bacteria, virus
  • Chinese traditional/simplified: 病菌, 病菌 (bìng jùn)
  • Finnish: pöpö
  • German: Ungeziefer
  • Greek: ιός
  • Italian: batterio, virus
  • Japanese: ばい菌
  • Maltese: infezzjoni, vajrus
an enthusiasm for something
  • Chinese traditional/simplified: 熱衷, 热衷 (rè zhōng)
  • Finnish: kuume, kärpänen
  • French: virus
  • Italian: morbo
  • Japanese: 熱
an electronic listening device
a small or invisible image on a World Wide Web page
a small image placed in a corner of a television program
  • Finnish: logo
  • French: logo
  • Italian: logo della rete
  • Polish: logo
manually positioned marker in flight instruments
a card cheat's bug is a holdout device
a semi-automated telegraph key

See also


  1. In the context of "informal|transitive": To annoy.
    Don’t bug me, I’m busy!
  2. To install an electronic listening device or devices in.
    We need to know what’s going on. We’ll bug his house.


to annoy
to install an electronic listening device in


Extensive Definition

Bug or BUG can refer to:



Art and media


bug in Catalan: Bug
bug in Czech: Bug
bug in Danish: Bug
bug in German: Bug
bug in Spanish: Bug
bug in Esperanto: BUG
bug in French: Bug
bug in Italian: BUG
bug in Hungarian: Bug
bug in Japanese: BUG
bug in Norwegian: Bug
bug in Norwegian Nynorsk: Bug
bug in Occitan (post 1500): Bug (omonimia)
bug in Kölsch: BUG (Watt ėßß datt?)
bug in Simple English: Bug
bug in Finnish: Bugi
bug in Swedish: Bug
bug in Thai: บั๊ก
bug in Chinese: 臭虫

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ALGOL, COBOL, FORTRAN, Mumbo Jumbo, abrade, addict, addle, addle the wits, adenovirus, aerobe, aerobic bacteria, aficionado, aggravate, agitate, alphabetic data, alphanumeric code, amoeba, anaerobe, anaerobic bacteria, angular data, annoy, apply pressure, arachnid, arthropod, assembler, attend, attend to, auscultate, bacillus, bacteria, bacterium, badger, bag, bait, ball up, balloon, be all ears, be at, becloud, bedazzle, bedevil, beetle, befuddle, belly, belly out, bend an ear, beset, besiege, bewilder, bigot, bilge, billow, binary digit, binary scale, binary system, bit, blandish, blemish, bogey, bogeyman, boggart, bogle, booger, boogerman, boogeyman, bother, bouge, bristle, brown off, buff, bugaboo, bugbear, bugger, bulge, bullyrag, burn up, buttonhole, byte, cajole, carp at, case, catch, caterpillar, centipede, chafe, chilopod, chivy, cloud, coax, coccus, cock the ears, collector, command pulses, commands, compiler, computer code, computer language, computer program, confuse, control signals, controlled quantity, convulse, correcting signals, crack, crank, craze, crazy fancy, daddy longlegs, data, daze, dazzle, defect, defection, deficiency, demon, devil, devotee, dilate, diplopod, discombobulate, discomfit, discompose, disconcert, disease-producing microorganism, disorganize, disorient, distemper, distend, distract, disturb, dog, drawback, dun, eager beaver, eavesdrop, echovirus, embarrass, embroil, energumen, entangle, enterovirus, enthusiasm, enthusiast, error, error signals, examine by ear, exasperate, exercise, exert pressure, faddist, failing, failure, fan, fanatic, fanatico, fascination, fash, fault, faute, fee-faw-fum, feedback pulses, feedback signals, fiend, film data, filterable virus, flaw, flummox, flurry, fluster, flutter, fly, fog, foible, frailty, freak, fret, fret at, fuddle, fungus, furor, furore, fuss, fuss at, gall, germ, get, give attention, give audience to, give ear, goggle, gram-negative bacteria, gram-positive bacteria, great one for, gripe, harass, hark, harry, harvestman, hassle, hear, hear out, hearken, heckle, hector, heed, henpeck, hexadecimal system, hexapod, hobbyist, hole, hound, imperfection, importune, inadequacy, infatuate, infatuation, infirmity, information, input data, input quantity, insect, instructions, intercept, irk, kink, larva, lend an ear, listen, listen at, listen in, listen to, little problem, lunatic fringe, machine language, maggot, make a reconnaissance, mania, maniac, manic-depressive psychosis, maze, message, microbe, microorganism, microphone, miff, mike, millepede, millipede, mist, mite, mix up, moider, mold, molest, monomaniac, muddle, multiple messages, nag, nag at, needle, nettle, nibble at, noise, nonfilterable virus, nudzh, numeric data, nut, nymph, octal system, oscillograph data, output data, output quantity, passion, pathogen, peck at, peep, peeve, perplex, persecute, perturb, pester, pick at, pick on, picornavirus, pique, plague, play, play the spy, pluck the beard, ply, polar data, pooch, pop, pother, pouch, pout, press, pressure, problem, protozoa, protozoon, provoke, psych, punch-card data, pursuer, push, put out, put under surveillance, radiomicrophone, rage, raise hell, random data, rattle, reconnoiter, rectangular data, reference quantity, reovirus, rhapsodist, rhinovirus, rickettsia, ride, rift, rile, roil, round out, ruffle, ruly English, scorpion, scout, scout out, shortcoming, signals, single messages, sit in on, snag, something missing, spider, spirillum, spirochete, spook, spore, spy, spy out, stake out, staphylococcus, streptococcus, sucker for, swell, swell out, taint, tap, tarantula, tease, throw, throw into confusion, tick, torment, trouble, try the patience, trypanosome, tweak the nose, unorganized data, unsettle, upset, urge, vex, vibrio, virus, visible-speech data, visionary, vulnerable place, watch, weak link, weak point, weakness, wheedle, wiretap, work on, worry, yap at, zealot
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