- a person who has a great enthusiasm for something; fan or hobbyist: a hi-fi bug.
- a craze or obsession: He's got the sports-car bug.
- a hidden microphone or other electronic eavesdropping device.
- any of various small mechanical or electrical gadgets, as one to influence a gambling device, give warning of an intruder, or indicate location.
verb (used with object), bugged, bug·ging. Informal.
Origin of bug1
Synonyms for bug
Related Words for buggedannoy, harass, pester, irk, irritate, wiretap, chafe, needle, vex, nettle, plague, abrade, gall, provoke, badger, spy, tap, eavesdrop, overhear
Examples from the Web for bugged
Contemporary Examples of bugged
That said, Braff has always seemed like a minor irritant, and I never gave any real thought to why he bugged me.Zach Braff’s Irritating Sense of Entitlement
July 18, 2014
I suddenly realized at some point what it was that bugged me about Battlestar Galactica—it was fanfic!How ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ and FanFiction Conquered Pop Culture
May 6, 2014
It was decided to use the telephone, but because everywhere was bugged the rings would function as messages.The Spy Who Saved The World—Then Tried To Destroy It
November 3, 2013
As they slip into the quiet of the home, they both wonder if the place has been bugged.The Man Oswald First Tried to Kill Before JFK
Bill Minutaglio, Steven L. Davis
October 3, 2013
I was bugged and followed by secret police maybe, but never with a bodyguard.I Watched Iraq Fall
Janine di Giovanni
March 17, 2013
Historical Examples of bugged
Wain was a smooth customer who bugged his eyes and lost some of his tan when he saw the sheaf of bills.Deathworld
I was a 17-year-old girl from the suburbs wearing a big coat and staring at her shoelaces, but no one bugged me.Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
His place was bugged, all right, but somehow the Galactic had managed to nullify their instruments!A World by the Tale
Gordon Randall Garrett
But J. Bayard's programme for helpin' Royce break into the younger set is bugged for fair.Shorty McCabe on the Job
- a microorganism, esp a bacterium, that produces disease
- a disease, esp a stomach infection, caused by a microorganism
verb bugs, bugging or bugged informal
Word Origin for bug
Word Origin for bug
"insect," 1620s (earliest reference is to bedbugs), of unknown origin, probably but not certainly from or influenced by Middle English bugge "something frightening, scarecrow" (late 14c.), a meaning obsolete since the "insect" sense arose except in bugbear (1570s) and bugaboo (q.v.).
Probably connected with Scottish bogill "goblin, bugbear," or obsolete Welsh bwg "ghost, goblin" (cf. Welsh bwgwl "threat," earlier "fear," Middle Irish bocanách "supernatural being"). Some speculate that these words are from a root meaning "goat" (see buck (n.1)) and represent originally a goat-like spectre. Cf. also bogey (n.1) and German bögge, böggel-mann "goblin." Perhaps influenced in meaning by Old English -budda used in compounds for "beetle" (cf. Low German budde "louse, grub," Middle Low German buddech "thick, swollen").
In the United States bug is not confined, as in England, to the domestic pest, but is applied to all insects of the Coleoptera order, which includes what in this country are generally called beetles. [Farmer & Henley, "Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English," 1912 abridged edition]
Meaning "defect in a machine" (1889) may have been coined c.1878 by Thomas Edison (perhaps with the notion of an insect getting into the works). Meaning "person obsessed by an idea" (e.g. firebug) is from 1841, perhaps from notion of persistence. Sense of "microbe, germ" is from 1919. Bugs "crazy" is from c.1900. Bug juice as a slang name for drink is from 1869, originally "bad whiskey." The 1811 slang dictionary has bug-hunter "an upholsterer." Bug-word "word or words meant to irritate and vex" is from 1560s.
"to bulge, protrude," 1872, originally of eyes, perhaps from a humorous or dialect mispronunciation of bulge (v.). Related: Bugged; bugging. As an adjective, bug-eyed recorded from 1872; so commonly used of space creatures in mid-20c. science fiction that the initialism BEM for bug-eyed monster was current by 1953.
"to annoy, irritate," 1949, probably from bug (n.) and a reference to insect pests. Sense of "equip with a concealed microphone" is from 1919. Related: Bugged; bugging.
Usage: The word bug is often used to refer to tiny creatures that crawl along, such as insects and even small animals that are not insects, such as spiders and millipedes. But for scientists the word has a much narrower meaning. In the strictest terms bugs are those insects that have mouthparts adapted for piercing and sucking. The mouthparts of these bugs are contained in a beak-shaped structure. Thus scientists would classify a louse but not a beetle or a cockroach as a bug. In fact, scientists often call lice and their relatives true bugs to distinguish them better from what everyone else calls bugs.
A generic term that describes a malfunction of undetermined origin in a computer or other electronic device.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bug
- bug off
- bug out
- cute as a button (bug's ear)
- put a bug in someone's ear
- snug as a bug in a rug
- what's eating (bugging) you