Definition of glitch in English:



  • 1A sudden, usually temporary malfunction or fault of equipment.

    ‘a draft version was lost in a computer glitch’
    • ‘As a brief glitch this would have been irritating but excusable.’
    • ‘He hopes that will prove to have been a temporary glitch in his quest for more glory.’
    • ‘The woman in the call centre told me that the letter had been sent out by accident - a computer glitch, she told me.’
    • ‘Computer glitches, bad weather, a number of airline workers sick-outs all contributed to leaving thousands of flights unflown and piles of baggage unhandled.’
    • ‘I knew there hadn't been any of those, so it must have been a temporary glitch, right?’
    • ‘System overloads cause brief glitches and outages, draining the power we take for granted from our appliances and modern devices.’
    • ‘Many firms see the recessionary side of the current market as a temporary glitch, rather than a cause for serious concern.’
    • ‘When you do not arm yourself with the mental equipment to handle glitches in your daily plans, you set yourself up for needless disappointment and misery.’
    • ‘However, the department has dismissed the issue as a temporary glitch and says the tagging of sheep will do a lot more for the credibility of the industry than farmers care to admit.’
    • ‘It took most of the next morning to figure out the glitch and devise a temporary fix.’
    • ‘He plays his pirated cassette of the score, with its glitches and sudden stops, over and over again.’
    • ‘Every now and then, there is frustration when there is a software glitch or a hardware fault, causing messages to appear on the screen in highly technical language.’
    • ‘There concerns centre on ATM-style voting machines that computer scientists have criticised for software glitches, hacking and malfunctioning.’
    • ‘He said the test followed a week of delays caused by weather and technical glitches, including malfunction of an internal battery aboard the target missile on Tuesday.’
    • ‘So far, schools say, computer glitches have made it a disaster.’
    • ‘Errors include transposed numbers, faulty equipment, mutilated punch cards and computer glitches.’
    • ‘The show is 100% sold out, and through a computer glitch in the box office, there were twenty double bookings.’
    • ‘They are confident it has hit a temporary glitch.’
    • ‘In fact our watches are a long time investment lasting years with no glitches.’
    • ‘We had built in so many different second and third order kind of contingencies in order to be prepared for various glitches and faults and problems and whatever else.’
    1. 1.1An unexpected setback.
      ‘the only glitch in his year is failing to qualify for the Masters’
      • ‘I was the unexpected glitch in everyone's plan.’
      • ‘People who would love and cherish a child and because of some cosmic glitch may never get to do so.’
      • ‘He soon learns that the complex has been inconvenienced by security glitches.’
      • ‘You might encounter schedule changes, unpredictable weather delays or any number of travel glitches.’
      • ‘But it seems to me that we've encountered more glitches of late, as the competitive landscape has heated up.’
      • ‘This was a mistake, a glitch or hiccup in Lara's life plans.’
      • ‘There are so many problems, so many glitches, so many ways with which this bill is not good even short-term policy, that we are going to have to figure out a way to address it.’
      • ‘The daily meeting provides you with an opportunity to ask questions and be reassured, and it provides the contractor with an opportunity to explain glitches, delays, and so on.’
      • ‘As your ruler Mercury goes retrograde, you could experience an unexpected glitch.’
      • ‘The revenue management general manager blamed the problem on internal glitches in the municipality.’
      • ‘The ten-year term of the contract should supply enough time to work through the inevitable glitches and to obtain real benefits.’
      • ‘A slight glitch in the real life, nothing terribly serious, just time consuming.’
      • ‘From the perspective of senior combat officers, these problems are not simply minor glitches in an otherwise adequate plan, but rather symptoms of a deeply flawed blueprint.’
      • ‘It may seem obvious after shares in a glitch company have recovered, but how do investors differentiate a glitch from a problem that is more systemic within a business?’
      • ‘The trick is to be prepared for all the unexpected glitches.’
      • ‘In reality, there are a number of opportunities for glitches, delays and missteps.’
      • ‘Instead a mission that's already had its share of hitches and glitches will land somewhere tomorrow.’
      • ‘The one glitch of the play that I must note was the unexpected thunder at the start of the second half of the performance after intermission.’
      • ‘Pretesting was very important for detecting a range of potential problems, from logistical glitches to problems with methods or threats to accuracy.’
      problem, difficulty, issue, hitch, complication, upset, disappointment, misfortune, mishap, piece of bad luck, unfortunate development, reversal, reverse, reverse of fortune
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Astronomy A brief irregularity in the rotation of a pulsar.
      • ‘Notice that the lines of the flow-volume curve are free of glitches and irregularities.’
      • ‘The laboratory demonstration is related to puzzling glitches observed by astronomers in the otherwise smooth, rapid rotation of pulsars.’


  • Suffer a sudden malfunction or fault.

    ‘the elevators glitched’
    • ‘The old combat system glitched frequently and simply wasn't capable of handling multiple contacts, limiting its usefulness in a hostile situation.’
    • ‘On Saturday I went into work to find our server had glitched at some point between Friday night and Saturday morning, so I spent most of Saturday morning getting it back to the way it was.’
    • ‘One of the screens glitched and both men looked at it.’
    • ‘I'm curious how that notoriously unreliable piece of engineering, the human body, will cause glitches in this system.’
    • ‘He also would frequently get angry when the programs would glitch and he couldn't write what he wanted to on the screen.’
    • ‘This market has a unique requirement - it cannot tolerate a disruption in the data flow or the picture you're viewing on the screen will glitch.’
    • ‘Then she noticed the DNA scanner and the primary security glitching as well, the other things that had been functional during the blast.’
    • ‘Now the beauty is that the hologram forms so tightly to your body that if someone touches the hologram it doesn't glitch or anything.’
    • ‘I bought it in, like, September, and it's glitching beyond belief.’


1960s (originally US): of unknown origin. The original sense was ‘a sudden surge of current’, hence ‘malfunction, hitch’ in astronautical slang.