Definition of kludge in English:


(also cludge, kluge)


  • 1An ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfill a particular purpose.

    • ‘Such a database would be a kludge of existing databases; databases that are incompatible, full of erroneous data, and unreliable.’
    • ‘On the corner of Eversholt Street and Euston is a St Pancras New Church, a neo-classical kludge which at the time of its construction in 1822 was the most expensive church building since St Paul's.’
    • ‘The vertebrate eye does very well indeed, but it is a kludge.’
    • ‘It wouldn't have been perfect, but it almost certainly would have been better than the kludge we're ending up with.’
    1. 1.1Computing A machine, system, or program that has been badly put together.
      • ‘Usually some mechanism exists to export and import data between a database and an SPC / SQC system - even if that mechanism is a kludge involving a text-file transfer.’
      • ‘It's a kludge, but at least the page loads normally now.’
      • ‘Google has struggled to maintain the integrity of its search results ever since, with recent kludges blocking millions of results.’
      • ‘And it's hard to imagine any IS department tolerating kludges such as this.’
      • ‘I speak as someone who's written code to do this, by the way - it always smelled like a kludge to me, and now I understand why.’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Use ill-assorted parts to make (something)

    ‘Hugh had to kludge something together’
    • ‘The original network - I'm sure our technologists wouldn't like this - but it was kludged together through landlines’
    • ‘One can add a middle initial, but this is just kludging it.’
    • ‘So there is nothing that the Google desktop offers I can't already kludge.’
    • ‘Thus you either change the new code, or try and kludge the old code, or hack around the old code with a whole new bit.’
    • ‘I initially coded the blog's template by kludging together a lot of stuff without really knowing what I was doing.’
    • ‘The details aren't specific, and feel a little kludged.’
    • ‘It's well worth taking the time to add extra comments and clean up any kludged code.’


1960s (originally US): invented word, perhaps symbolic. Compare with fudge.