Definition of debug in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Identify and remove errors from (computer hardware or software)

    ‘games are the worst to debug’
    ‘software debugging’
    • ‘The fast booting of LinuxBIOS means that if you are debugging something and have to reboot a node, the hardware doesn't waste the valuable time of the system administrator.’
    • ‘For example, software is traditionally written, compiled, tested and debugged, at which point the cycle begins again until the software is released.’
    • ‘One of the most critical stages of software development is characterising the bugs (detecting any defects by testing) and then debugging the software.’
    • ‘While I tried to debug the software and hardware for a scientific instrument next door I heard drilling and hammering.’
    • ‘This feature means a shorter development cycle as developers get immediate feedback on errors and interactively debug programs.’
    • ‘This can be useful in debugging connections that give errors.’
    • ‘Their experiments showed that the added sound did help undergraduate computer science students with debugging.’
    • ‘Novice programmers make a lot of small errors, and they debug programs by making small changes at a time, recompiling the code, and observing the execution.’
    • ‘We are still working-up our level of posting, and also debugging our software.’
    • ‘And maybe next time they roll out a new instant upgrade they'll debug it properly beforehand.’
    • ‘Remote systems can be debugged via the Internet, without logging into the user system, while system security can be tightly managed.’
    • ‘Looks like the software debugging happened faster than expected.’
    • ‘There are probably lots of reasons, but I would like to suggest that many of them derive from our failure to consider testing and debugging as part of the software design process.’
    • ‘And slowly, but steadily, the software was debugged.’
    • ‘These commands make debugging easier, because Perl catches these bugs for you.’
    • ‘Formidable programmers, these hackers produced and debugged computer code at an astonishing rate.’
    • ‘For example, a computer programmer struggling to debug a particularly complex set of computer problems may be highly absorbed in his or her task and role yet feel negative emotions because of the struggle and difficulty involved.’
    • ‘As we will see below, this functionality can come in handy if you need to upgrade or debug an already-running and configured Apache server.’
    • ‘Neither programmers nor system administrators like diversity in the underlying environment: it makes debugging much more difficult.’
    • ‘He took pleasure in hacking into everybody's computer, inspecting their computer, debugging anything that needed it, and then moving on to other people's computer.’
    • ‘The programmer used JavaScript that did not function similarly in Netscape and Internet Explorer and had to be tested and debugged.’
  • 2Detect and remove concealed microphones from (an area).

    • ‘Do clients ever ask you to debug an office, and if they do, do you actually ever find any bugs?’
    • ‘He added that ‘specialised technicians’ were responsible for all security surrounding the conclave, ruling out speculation that experts from outside had been brought in to debug the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican hotel and other rooms where cardinals will meet.’
    • ‘‘Stop I've already debugged the place don't worry Jess’ the voice came from the armchair if you could call it that near the only actual window in the apartment.’
  • 3North American Remove insects from (something), especially with a pesticide.

    • ‘Campo has used her meagre savings, volunteers, small donations and the good-hearted service of cheap vets to sterilize, test and debug the cats and return them to health.’
    • ‘I picked up the first available weapon, that compendium of guest services promising to make me feel at home away from home, and I went about the grisly business of debugging my room.’


  • The process of identifying and removing errors from computer hardware or software.

    • ‘The version we got our mitts on was a pre-release prototype fully installed with processor-hogging debug code but otherwise pretty close to the final product, we're told.’
    • ‘The debug message was filtered out by setting the level to INFO.’
    • ‘The result is that errors can be detected easily at compile time instead of at debug time.’
    • ‘Error messages do appear fairly often, produced by debug software the developers are using during beta testing so players can to track down bugs more easily.’
    • ‘The debug options often get left on by accident.’
    • ‘Several times, I ran into debilitating crashes complete with debug windows.’
    • ‘Given that the code is far from final and may contain many debug elements, the system's performance will likely improve in subsequent releases.’
    • ‘The method may further include generating debug information if a data corruption is detected by one of the test threads.’
    • ‘No software program or ‘simulator’ is going to give you the debug practice you need.’
    • ‘The debug tools still reside on the PC, but the application data is transmitted through the network card instead of the serial port.’