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1. A minor malfunction, mishap, or technical problem; a snag: a computer glitch; a navigational glitch; a glitch in the negotiations.
2. A false or spurious electronic signal caused by a brief, unwanted surge of electric power.
3. Astronomy A sudden change in the period of rotation of a neutron star.

[Probably from Yiddish glitsh, a slip, lapse, from glitshn, to slip, from Middle High German glitschen, alteration of glīten, to glide, from Old High German glītan; see ghel- in Indo-European roots.]

glitch′y adj.
Word History: One of the two earliest known appearances of the word glitch is found in John Glenn's contribution to the book Into Orbit (1962), an account of Project Mercury (the United States' first human spaceflight program) by the seven astronauts who participated: "Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was 'glitch.'" Glenn then gives the technical sense of the word the astronauts had adopted: "Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical current." The word may have already been in use by engineers and other specialists for some time, though. Later in the book, it is explained again and is simply said to be a slang word for a "hitch." Since the appearance of the term in the context of electronics, glitch has passed beyond technical use and now covers a wide variety of malfunctions and mishaps.


adj, glitchier or glitchiest
(of an electronic system) prone to sudden instances of malfunctioning or irregularity
References in periodicals archive ?
Over the past 12 months, the DJ/ producer/musician has released a stream of gloriously genrestraddling tracks, each showcasing a sound which pinballs from discordant soundcapes to ethereal shoegaze to glitchy electronica.
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From Ren's glassed-in apartment building to the subterranean bunker where her start-up is based, it's striking to see Perth's sunny openness turned in on itself; it's a clue for local audiences that there's something a bit glitchy about the code of Ren's world.
Face animations aren't the best in PES 2018, ending up looking weird and glitchy at certain times.
Which boasted a collaboration with Chicago House legend Robert Owens as well as a further 14 tracks that moved from glitchy, jacking house to stripped-back Baleric vibes.
Top time wasters during work include slow or glitchy software programs and devices, beating out meetings and water cooler conversations.
It's quirky, dark, engrossing and action-packed; it's glitchy, more than a bit confusing thematically and possesses an ending that fails to do the game justice.
It's still glitchy and some apps take time to load and even crash.
Most of the advice was reasonable; however, the scope is small and the responses glitchy.