gremlin


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grem·lin

 (grĕm′lĭn)
n.
1. An imaginary gnomelike creature to whom mechanical problems, especially in aircraft, are attributed.
2. A maker of mischief.

[Perhaps blend of Irish gruaimín, bad-tempered little fellow (from Middle Irish gruaim, gloom, surliness) and goblin.]
Word History: Elves, goblins, and trolls seem to be timeless creations of the distant past, but gremlins were born in the 1900s. In fact, gremlin is first recorded only in the 1920s, as a Royal Air Force term for a low-ranking officer or enlisted man saddled with oppressive assignments. Said to have been invented by members of the Royal Naval Air Service in World War I, gremlin is used in works written in the 1940s for "an imaginary gnomelike creature who causes difficulties in aircraft." The word seems likely to have been influenced by goblin, but accounts of its origin are various and none are certain. One source calls in Fremlin beer bottles to explain the word; another, the Irish Gaelic word gruaimín, "ill-humored little fellow." Whatever the word's origin, it is certain that gremlins have taken on a life of their own.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

gremlin

(ˈɡrɛmlɪn)
n
1. (Military) an imaginary imp jokingly said to be responsible for malfunctions in machinery
2. any mischievous troublemaker
[C20: perhaps a corruption of goblin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

grem•lin

(ˈgrɛm lɪn)

n.
an imaginary, mischievous being humorously alleged to cause mechanical failures in aircraft or disruptions in any activity.
[1925–30; of obscure orig.; in its earliest attested sense, an RAF term for a subaltern or enlisted man; later development perhaps affected by phonetic resemblance to goblin]
syn: See goblin.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

gremlin

A mythical creature believed to tamper with all kinds of machinery.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gremlin - (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievousgremlin - (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous
folklore - the unwritten lore (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture
faerie, faery, fay, sprite - a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers
leprechaun - a mischievous elf in Irish folklore
sandman - an elf in fairy stories who sprinkles sand in children's eyes to make them sleepy
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations

gremlin

[ˈgremlɪn] Nduendecillo m, diablillo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

gremlin

[ˈgrɛmlɪn] ndiablotin m (à qui l'on attribue le mauvais fonctionnement d'une machine ou d'un appareil)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

gremlin

n (hum)böser Geist, Maschinenteufel m (hum)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

gremlin

[ˈgrɛmlɪn] nspiritello
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in periodicals archive ?
Googling a runner Gremlin 6.30 Chepstow The mischievous creature you might blame for your computer breaking down is all English folklore.
He was having fun all the time while skating, watching people skate, making fun of Schaeffer, trying to steal my beers, cracking jokes, and just being the gremlin that he is.
French games software developer Infogrames Entertainment SA reported a 39% increase in net profits in its first half ended December 31 on revenue up 36%, and also announced the completion of its $40m acquisition of UK sports games developer Gremlin Group Plc (CI No 3626).
On Monday, Cabello made light of the countless hours she put in the studio by comparing herself to a Gremlin, a fictional creation from the "Gremlins" movie franchise.
Gremlin proved to be yet another shrewd claim by trainer Dai Burchell after following up his recent course and distance success when coming away from Star Choice to take the 2m handicap.
PUBLIC Enemy rapper Flavor Flav dresses up as a gremlin for the taping of MTV TRL in Times Square, New York.
Publisher Dark Horse is also putting out a line of figurines - little gremlin figures - to help promote it.'
This comes as the national Get On campaign, whose television advert features a now-famous gremlin character, joins forces with former SAS man Andy McNab to encourage adults to improve their basic skills.
Those lucky enough to be involved: Mark "The Main Man" Appleyard, Matt "The Mutt" Mumford, Jake "The Gremlin" Duncombe, and Paul "Late Comer" Machnau--along with Chris "Credit Card" Robinson, Andrew "Myself" Mapstone, and never to be forgotten, Mike "Hoops" Adilphe.
Frodo uses his fists to get what he wants, but Freud is more popular and he has the girl - a svelte female chimp called Gremlin.
The campaign, featuring the now famous gremlin character, was launched in 2001 to specifically target the millions of people in the country with literacy, numeracy and language needs.
Infogrames Entertainment Group, the acquisitive French computer and video games publisher, is buying UK games company Gremlin Group Plc for $40m.