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1. Trash, debris, or other unwanted matter that accumulates over time.
2. Unnecessary digital information that accumulates over time, such as unneeded files or obsolete lines of code in software: "By removing cruft, you can recover valuable disk space ... and reduce the chance of software conflicts" (Joe Kissell).

[Originally 1950s Massachusetts Institute of Technology students' slang, perhaps after Cruft Hall (the informal name for Cruft Laboratory, a building on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the physics department stored unused technical equipment), humorously taken as "hall of cruft" (perhaps influenced by crud and crust).]

cruft′y adj.


(Biography) Charles. 1852–1938, British dog breeder, who organized the first (1886) of the annual dog shows known as Cruft's