The Collaborative International Dictionary
Bug \Bug\ (b[u^]g), n. [OE. bugge, fr. W. bwg, bwgan, hobgoblin, scarecrow, bugbear. Cf. Bogey, Boggle.]
A bugbear; anything which terrifies. [Obs.]
Sir, spare your threats: The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
(Zo["o]l.) A general name applied to various insects belonging to the Hemiptera; as, the squash bug; the chinch bug, etc.
(Zo["o]l.) An insect of the genus Cimex, especially the bedbug ( Cimex lectularius). See Bedbug.
(Zo["o]l.) One of various species of Coleoptera; as, the ladybug; potato bug, etc.; loosely, any beetle.
(Zo["o]l.) One of certain kinds of Crustacea; as, the sow bug; pill bug; bait bug; salve bug, etc.
Note: According to popular usage in England and among housekeepers in America around 1900, bug, when not joined with some qualifying word, was used specifically for bedbug. As a general term it is now used very loosely in America as a colloquial term to mean any small crawling thing, such as an insect or arachnid, and was formerly used still more loosely in England. ``God's rare workmanship in the ant, the poorest bug that creeps.''
--Naaman). ``This bug with gilded wings.''
(Computers) An error in the coding of a computer program, especially one causing the program to malfunction or fail. See, for example, year 2000 bug. ``That's not a bug, it's a feature!''
Any unexpected defect or flaw, such as in a machine or a plan.
A hidden electronic listening device, used to hear or record conversations surreptitiously.
An infectious microorganism; a germ. [Colloq.]
An undiagnosed illness, usually mild, believed to be caused by an infectious organism. [Colloq.]
Note: In some communities in the 1990's, the incidence of AIDS is high and AIDS is referred to colloquially as ``the bug''.
An enthusiast; -- used mostly in combination, as a camera bug. [Colloq.]
Bait bug. See under Bait.
Bug word, swaggering or threatening language. [Obs.]
--Beau. & Fl.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
also bed-bug, 1772, from bed (n.) + bug (n.).\n\n[The bed bug] is supposed to have been first introduced to this country in the fir timber that was brought over to rebuild London after it had suffered by the great fire; for it is generally said that Bugs were not known in England before that time, and many of them were found almost immediately afterwards in the new-built houses.
[the Rev. W. Bingley, "Animal Biography; or Anecdotes of the Lives, Manners, and Economy of the Animal Creation," London, 1803]
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
n. A small nocturnal insect of the family ''(taxlink Cimicidae family noshow=1)'' that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts.
Usage examples of "bedbug".
Household Pests, Hugo Hartnack complained in the 1930s about a chemical used for bedbugs that was so caustic it took the finish off metal beds.
Besides any leftover food or garbage you care to leave out for them, they will eat wallpaper paste, bookbindings, the glue in grocery bags, soap, dirty clothes, papers, bedbugs, other live and dead insects, and stale beer.
Each morning my I N S I L E N C E 231 mother folded the small cot, finally rid of bedbugs, on which she and my father slept and wheeled it into the bedroom in which my brother and I slept in our own beds.
Operating with one hand, beating the rats offa my patient with the other and bedbugs and scorpions rain down from the ceiling.
Often bedbug bites have a characteristic pattern - they occur in rows of three on the skin.
He also described a bedbug trap that consisted of painting a strip of special glass-like enamel all around the lower walls of the room, leaving one small opening.
This seems only fair, because spiders have traditionally taken the blame for many a bedbug bite.
One famous entomologist who specialized in bedbugs collected them in hotels, good and bad, across the country.
Newly-hatched bedbugs are paler versions of adults, and they require blood feeding before they can reach adulthood.
Furthermore, a number of victims have described seeing bedbugs walk up the wall, travel across the ceiling and get in position to drop down on the bed.
A few such bugs placed in a room would clear out all the bedbugs within a few weeks.
When we add to this the additional torments of bedbugs and body lice, we can only surmise that life before washing machines and vacuum cleaners was indeed full of itching and scratching.
They carried bedbugs in a special box, open to the air on one side, and when the bedbugs smelled bloodonly human bloodthey made excited little cries that could be picked up by sensitive microphones in the boxes .
When the mottled flame leaked into the room, Garadolo turned to his captive, stopping to scratch himself thoroughly, as if his bedbugs had already begun their nightly feast.
I might have slept better, but there were bedbugs, or one overlarge bug romping under my sheets last night, kept me tossing and turning.