verb (used with object), de·bugged, de·bug·ging. Informal.

  1. to detect and remove defects or errors from.
  2. to remove electronic bugs from (a room or building).
  3. Computers. to detect and remove errors from (a computer program).
  4. to rid (a garden, plant, etc.) of insect pests, as by the application of a pesticide.

verb -bugs, -bugging or -bugged (tr)

  1. to locate and remove concealed microphones from (a room, etc)
  2. to locate and remove defects in (a device, system, plan, etc)
  3. to remove insects from


    1. something, esp a computer program, that locates and removes defects in (a device, system, etc)
    2. (as modifier)a debug program

1945, of machine systems, from de- + bug (n.) “glitch, defect in a machine.” Meaning “to remove a concealed microphone” is from 1964. Related: Debugged; debugging.

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