Meaning of BUG in English


I. ˈbəg noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English bugge scarecrow; akin to German dialect bögge piece of dried nasal mucus, hobgoblin, Norwegian dialect bugge important man — more at boast

obsolete : bogey , bugbear

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: origin unknown


a. : an insect or other creeping or crawling invertebrate (as a spider or small crustacean) — not used technically

b. : any of certain insects commonly considered especially obnoxious: as

(1) : bedbug

(2) : cockroach

(3) : head louse

c. : an insect of the order Hemiptera ; especially : a member of the suborder Heteroptera

2. : an unexpected defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection (as in a plan, a mechanism, or a piece of legislation) — used especially of such items as are regarded as capable of alteration or ready improvement

there are still some bugs to iron out but the new motor will do the job

— compare joker


a. : a disease-producing germ or other microorganism

b. : a disease caused by such bugs

probably caused by a bug … as yet unknown — Horace Sutton

especially : any of various respiratory conditions of virus origin (as influenza or grippe)

stricken with a virus bug


a. : fad , craze , hobby

bitten by the miniature-golf bug

got the trailer bug on a vacation trip

b. : enthusiasm, concern, or deep interest especially in respect to some particular matter or objective

I have rather a bug about learning in class — Jean Nison

c. : a person notably concerned with, enthusiastic about, or efficient at a specified interest or activity

he's a bug on proper training of young shooters

she was a bug at languages — Newsweek

a perfect bug for detail

d. : hobbyist

camera bugs

ski bugs

e. : a crazy person ; especially : firebug


a. archaic : a vain or self-important person

b. : a person of prominence or high social standing

we'll have all the bugs to lunch

— see big bug

6. poker : the joker when considered wild only for the purpose of filling straights or flushes or of acting as an ace


a. : an alarm system (as a burglar alarm)

b. : a concealed microphone

c. : a device for wiretapping

d. : a high-speed telegrapher's key that makes repeated dots or dashes automatically and saves motion of the operator's hand


[so called from its designation by an asterisk on race programs]

: the weight allowance given apprentice jockeys

9. slang : numbers game

10. : a light usually two-seater stripped-down automobile

11. : a fishing plug felt to resemble a large insect

III. verb

( bugged ; bugged ; bugging ; bugs )

transitive verb

1. : to rid (as plants) of insects

we'll have to bug the potatoes again next week

2. : bother , annoy , irritate ; sometimes : to drive (a person) crazy


a. : to equip with a burglar alarm

b. : to plant a concealed microphone in : wiretap

bug a meeting

intransitive verb

: to hunt for or collect bugs

IV. noun

also bug light

( -s )

Etymology: probably from ( lightning ) bug

1. : a small channel or harbor light with intermittent flash

2. : flashlight b

V. ˈbəg, ˈbu̇g adjective

Etymology: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian bugge important man

dialect England : conceited , stuck-up

VI. ˈbəg verb

( bugged ; bugged ; bugging ; bugs )

Etymology: probably alteration (influenced by bug ) (I) of bulge

intransitive verb

of the eyes : protrude , bulge — often used with out

transitive verb

: bulge , protrude

his eyes were bugged with horror

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.