[ buhg-ee ]
/ ˈbʌg i /
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adjective, bug·gi·er, bug·gi·est.
infested with bugs: We spent one last muggy, buggy summer at the campsite up North, then started vacationing in the Southwest.
Computers. (of software) containing errors or imperfections that reduce reliability, performance, or user experience: The game’s load times were slow, and the autosave was buggy.
Slang. crazy; insane; peculiar.
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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of buggy

First recorded in 1690–1700; bug1 + -y1


bug·gi·ness, noun

Other definitions for buggy (2 of 2)

[ buhg-ee ]
/ ˈbʌg i /

noun, plural bug·gies.

Origin of buggy

First recorded in 1750–60; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does buggy mean?

As an adjective, buggy means full of bugs or infested with bugs. This can literally refer to insects, as in a buggy swamp, or it can refer to the kind of bugs found in software or machines—glitches and programming errors.

As a noun, buggy refers to a small, wheeled cart or other vehicle, especially a horse-drawn carriage (often called a horse and buggy). There are several different vehicles that can be called a buggy.

Example: The beta version of the app is a little buggy, so we’ll need to do some additional testing before we release it to the users.

Where does buggy come from?

The first records of buggy as a noun referring to a vehicle come from around 1760. It’s unknown where this word came from. But the origin of the word buggy as an adjective meaning “infested with insects” is very simple: it’s the word bug, meaning “insect,” and the adjective-forming suffix y, meaning “filled with.” The first records of this use come from around 1700.

Places are called buggy when there’s a lot of insects swarming around. Swamps and marshes are often buggy. The word can also be used to describe an immediate area or environment when there’s a lot of bugs around, as in It’s really humid and buggy outside right now, so let’s stay inside. In both cases, the word usually implies that insects like mosquitoes are flying around and being a nuisance.

The word bug is commonly used to refer to software errors, and describing software as buggy means there’s a lot of errors and things going wrong. Another word for this is glitchy (a synonym of this sense of bug is glitch). You might describe an app as buggy if it keeps crashing or malfunctioning.

When buggy is used as a noun, it can refer to several different kinds of wheeled vehicles. Most commonly it refers to a carriage pulled by a horse. In the United States and Canada, the word buggy typically refers to four-wheeled carriages, while in the U.K. and India it refers to two-wheeled ones. In parts of the U.S. and Canada, people such as the Amish use buggies for transportation. People often use the phrase horse and buggy to refer to the vehicle and the horse or horses that pull it.

Buggy can also refer to a baby carriage (a pram in the U.K.), an industrial cart (such as the kind used to transport mining materials), or a small motorized vehicle (such as dune buggy). In certain parts of the U.S. and Canada, people call a shopping cart a buggy.

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What are some other forms related to buggy?

  • buginess (noun)
  • buggier (comparative adjective)
  • buggiest (superlative adjective)

What are some synonyms for buggy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with buggy



What are some words that often get used in discussing buggy?

How is buggy used in real life?

As an adjective, buggy is an informal but common word that means there’s a lot of bugs—either insects or glitches.



Try using buggy!

Which of the following terms would NOT be used to describe software that’s considered buggy?

A. glitchy
B. perfect
C. malfunctioning
D. full or errors

How to use buggy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for buggy (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbʌɡɪ) /

noun plural -gies
a light horse-drawn carriage having either four wheels (esp in the US and Canada) or two wheels (esp in Britain and India)
short for beach buggy
a small motorized vehicle designed for a particular purposegolf buggy; moon buggy

Word Origin for buggy

C18: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for buggy (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbʌɡɪ) /

adjective -gier or -giest
infested with bugs
US slang insane
informal (of a system or machine, esp a computer program) containing errors or faults

Derived forms of buggy

bugginess, noun
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