Glitch Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

You’ve likely heard about there being a glitch in the matrix, but do you know what glitch means? Read on to get the scoop on the meaning of glitch.

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Between the matrix, video game bugs, or Wreck-it Ralph’s adorable Disney princess Vanellope von Schweetz, you’ve likely come across the word glitch before — but do you know what it means? Not to worry; we’re here to help.

In this article, we’re exploring the word glitch to uncover its definition, origin, and more. So, if you’ve ever been curious about the meaning behind glitch — keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on a glitch, including definition, synonyms, and how to use it in a sentence.  

What Is the Definition of Glitch?

/ɡlɪtʃ/ /gl ɪ tʃ/ /ɡliCH/

Collins Dictionary defines a glitch simply as a problem that may stop something from being successful or working properly. Think here a flaw, or fault in the system, a hiccup if you will. A glitch is commonly used as a slang term for a mishap, malfunction, or error.

Other definitions of our word of the day include:

  • Electrical — A sudden or brief disruption or surge in voltage in an electric circuit; essentially, a sudden and unexpected increase in electrical power commonly causing a weak point in the electronic system of the device
  • Astronomy — The reaction to sudden changes in a star. Glitch in astronomy refers to a quick, sudden change in the rotation rate of a pulsar.
  • Video Games — An exploit in the game or a bug.

What Is the Etymology of Glitch?

Glitch is a relatively new word that was first introduced in the early 1940s in radio broadcasts. 

While there is no definitive origin for our word of the day, it’s thought to possibly come from Yiddish glitch, meaning “skid, slippery area.” The word glitch also derives from German glitschen and glitshn, meaning to slip.  

Astronaut John Glenn contributed to the popularity of the word glitch when he used the term in his book “Into Orbit” to reference spikes in electrical current. Glenn, who published his book in 1962, defined glitch as a slang word for “hitch.”

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Glitch?

By now, you know that a glitch is a small problem or fault that stops something from working properly or malfunctioning. To further your overall understanding of our word of the day, let’s take a look at a few synonyms and antonyms:


  • Error
  • Hampering 
  • Weak spot
  • Fault
  • Stumbling block
  • Defect
  • Software glitch 
  • Catch 22
  • Bug
  • Quirk 
  • Spanner in the works
  • Flaw
  • Weak point
  • Gremlin
  • Fly in the ointment
  • Breakdown
  • Failure
  • imperfection
  • Faux pas
  • Catch
  • Hang up
  • Mistake
  • Slip
  • Computer glitch 
  • Inability to hack it
  • Exception
  • Jam up
  • Limitation
  • Technical glitch 
  • Obstruction
  • Monkeywrench
  • Virus
  • Achilles heel
  • Anomaly
  • Hiccup
  • Monkeywrench in the works
  • Kink
  • Hang up
  • Setback
  • Ball and chain
  • Snafu
  • Snag 
  • Mishap
  • Deal breaker


  • Advantage
  • Perfection
  • Strength
  • Stroke of luck
  • Blessing 
  • Strongpoint
  • Enough
  • Purity
  • Piece of good fortune 
  • Plenty
  • Help
  • Advantage
  • Crutch
  • Assist
  • Convenience
  • Solution
  • A normal pattern
  • Breakthrough
  • Achievement 
  • Furtherance
  • Encouragement
  • Aid
  • Lucky break
  • A normal state of affairs
  • Adequacy
  • Contribution
  • Boon
  • Good thing
  • Asset
  • Uniformity
  • Status quo
  • Plus point
  • Routineness
  • Normality
  • Order 

How Can You Use Glitch in a Sentence?

Ready to put what you’ve learned to work? The best way to learn is to practice using the word. Test your newfound knowledge to see how many sentences you can come up with properly using the word glitch

If you need some help, feel free to check out our example sentences listed below:

“Honestly, this is just a temporary glitch and will be over before the end of the day.” 

“After watching Wreck-It Ralph, I told Snow White to move over because Vanellope von Schweetz is now my favorite Disney princess of all time!” 

“Can I borrow your thesaurus? My computer keeps glitching.”

“Is it a security issue of my personal computer has glitches?”

“The word glitch has an unknown origin, but apparently, it’s Yiddish!”

“Many conspiracy theorists are under the impression that there is a glitch in the matrix and are obsessed with simulation theory.”

“When your computer starts to glitch, it could be indicative of a software malfunction, bug, or virus.”

“Becky told me about a time she experienced a glitch in the matrix and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little spooked.”

“Is the TV glitching, or do I just need to wash my glasses?”

“If your iPhone glitches, chances are it’s just a hiccup in the software, but there’s always a slight possibility that the device is responding to a bigger outside threat.”

What Are Translations of Glitch?

Did you know that there are multiple ways to say our word of the day? Yup, it’s true — here are some of the most common translations of glitch from around the world:

  • Chinese (Traditional) — 小毛病, 小差錯, 小故障
  • Spanish — problema técnico, fallo técnico (masculine)
  • Polish — usterka
  • Norwegian — glipp (masculine), svikt (masculine)
  • Turkish — hata, kusur, yanlışlık
  • Portuguese — falha, problema técnico, pequena falha (feminine)
  • Russian — сбой
  • Chinese (Simplified) — 小毛病, 小差错, 小故障
  • French — pépin (masculine), petit problème (masculine)

Other Yiddish Words Used in Everyday Conversations

Now that you understand what the Yiddish word glitch means, let’s take a look at a few other Yiddish words

  • Bubkes — nothing
  • Schlep — carry oneself 
  • Klutz — clumsy person
  • Schlub — unkempt 
  • Bagel — bread roll shaped into a ring
  • Lox — smoked salmon
  • Futz — waste time
  • Mazel — luck 
  • Tush — derriere 
  • Spiel — persuasive speech
  • Shtick — gimmick 
  • Schmuck — foolish person or jerk
  • Schmo — stupid person or idiot 

Bottom Line

While they are usually temporary, a glitch is a malfunction or problem in a machine or system. In other words, it’s a sudden irregularity of equipment or an unexpected defect, fault, imperfection, or flaw. Electronics such as computers, TVs, and phones often glitch. 


  1. GLITCH: Definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 
  2. Glitch definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  3. List of American English Words of Yiddish Origin | Your Dictionary