Meaning of BUG in English

BUG

I. bug 1 S3 /bʌɡ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

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

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 (=that 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 English a small insect

3 . a fault in the system of instructions that operates a computer:

a bug in the software

⇨ ↑ debug

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) .

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COLLOCATIONS

■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + bug

▪ a nasty/horrible bug

It was a really nasty bug.

▪ a stomach bug ( also a tummy bug more informal )

He’s off school with a stomach bug.

▪ a flu bug

We’ve all had a horrible flu bug.

▪ a 24-hour/2-day etc bug

The doctor says it’s just a 24-hour bug.

■ verbs

▪ have a bug

Two of us had a nasty bug on holiday.

▪ catch/get a bug

Six out of ten travellers get a stomach bug abroad.

▪ pick up a bug (=catch one)

He seems to pick up every bug going.

▪ a bug is going around (=a lot of people have it)

A lot of staff are off because there’s a bug going round.

II. bug 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle bugged , present participle bugging ) [transitive]

1 . informal to annoy someone:

It just bugs me that I have to work so many extra hours for no extra money.

The baby’s crying is really bugging him.

2 . to put a ↑ bug (=small piece of electronic equipment) somewhere secretly in order to listen to conversations:

Do you think the room is bugged?

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THESAURUS

▪ listen to pay attention to what someone is saying or to a sound that you hear:

I didn’t hear the answer, because I wasn’t listening when she read it out.

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He listened carefully to every word I said.

▪ pay attention to listen carefully to what someone is saying:

I nodded to show I was paying attention.

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She was tired and wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying.

▪ eavesdrop to secretly listen to someone else’s conversation by standing near them, hiding behind a door etc:

I caught him eavesdropping on our conversation.

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They spoke in quiet voices which made it hard to eavesdrop.

▪ overhear to hear someone say something, especially accidentally:

I overheard him say something about wanting to move house.

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Excuse me! I couldn’t help overhearing that you were planning a trip to Thailand.

▪ tune in (to something) to listen to a radio programme, or to someone using a radio ↑ transmitter :

Over a million people tune in to the programme each week.

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Tune in at the same time next week for the next episode.

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The equipment could be used by criminals to tune in to police broadcasts.

▪ tap to connect a piece of electronic recording equipment to a telephone system so that you can listen to people’s telephone conversations:

The police had tapped the phones of all three suspects.

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The President had to resign over an illegal phone-tapping operation.

▪ bug to hide a small piece of electronic recording equipment in someone’s room, car, office etc in order to listen secretly to what is said there:

Security agents bugged their offices and managed to get some evidence against them.

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Wells was convinced the house was bugged and insisted on playing loud music while we talked.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.