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Probably from Yiddish גליטש ‎(glitsch), from dialectal German glitschig ‎(slippy), from glitsch ‎(slide, glide, slip) + -ig ‎(-y). Related to gleiten ‎(glide).

Popularized 1960s, by US space program. Attested 1962 by American astronaut John Glenn, in reference to spikes in electrical current.[1]



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glitch ‎(plural glitches)

  1. A problem affecting function; a bug; an imperfection; a quirk
    They are still trying to work out all the glitches.
  2. (video games) A bug or an exploit.
    Performing this glitch gives you extra lives.
  3. (music) A genre of experimental electronic music of the 1990s, characterized by a deliberate use of sonic artifacts that would normally be viewed as unwanted noise.

Derived terms[edit]


  • 1962, John Glenn[1]
    Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical current.
  • 1965, Time magazine
    Glitches—a spaceman’s word for irritating disturbances.


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glitch ‎(third-person singular simple present glitches, present participle glitching, simple past and past participle glitched)

  1. To experience an intermittent, unexpected, malfunction
    My computer keeps glitching; every couple of hours it just reboots without warning.
  2. (video games) To perform an exploit or recreate a bug while playing a video game.
    His character will glitch into the wall and out of the level.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Moradi, Iman. (2004) Glitch Aesthetic