Try Our Apps


Challenge: Tongue Twisters


[dee-buhg] /diˈbʌg/
verb (used with object), debugged, debugging. Informal.
to detect and remove defects or errors from.
to remove electronic bugs from (a room or building).
Computers. to detect and remove errors from (a computer program).
to rid (a garden, plant, etc.) of insect pests, as by the application of a pesticide.
Origin of debug
1940-45; de- + bug1
Related forms
debugger, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for debugging
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for debugging


verb (transitive) -bugs, -bugging, -bugged
to locate and remove concealed microphones from (a room, etc)
to locate and remove defects in (a device, system, plan, etc)
to remove insects from
  1. something, esp a computer program, that locates and removes defects in (a device, system, etc)
  2. (as modifier): a debug program
Word Origin
C20: from de- + bug1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for debugging



1945, of machine systems, from de- + bug (n.) "glitch, defect in a machine." Meaning "to remove a concealed microphone" is from 1964. Related: Debugged; debugging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
debugging in Technology

The process of attempting to determine the cause of the symptoms of malfunctions in a program or other system. These symptoms may be detected during testing or use by real users.
Symptoms are often caused by factors outside the program, such as misconfiguration of the user's operating system, misunderstanding by the user (see PEBCAK) or failures in other external systems on which the program relies. Some of these are more in the realm of technical support but need to be eliminated. Debugging really starts when it has been established that the program is not behaving according to its specification (which may be formal or informal). It can be done by visual inspection of the source code, debugging by printf or using a debugger. The result may be that the program is actually behaving as specified but that the spec is wrong or the requirements on which it was based were deficient in some way (see BAD).
Once a bug has been identified and a fix applied, the program must be tested to determine whether the bug is really fixed and what effects the changes have had on other aspects of the program's operation (see regression testing).
The term is said to have been coined by Grace Hopper, based on the term "bug".

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for debug

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for debugging

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for debugging