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noun \ˈwərm\

Simple Definition of worm

  • : a long, thin animal that has a soft body with no legs or bones and that often lives in the ground

  • : the young form of some insects that looks like a small worm

  • : a person who is not liked or respected : a very bad person

Full Definition of worm

  1. 1 a :  earthworm; broadly :  an annelid worm b :  any of numerous relatively small elongated usually naked and soft-bodied animals (as a grub, pinworm, tapeworm, shipworm, or slowworm)

  2. 2 a :  a human being who is an object of contempt, loathing, or pity :  wretch b :  something that torments or devours from within

  3. 3 archaic :  snake, serpent

  4. 4 :  helminthiasis —usually used in plural

  5. 5 :  something (as a mechanical device) spiral or vermiculate in form or appearance: as a :  the thread of a screw b :  a short revolving screw whose threads gear with the teeth of a worm wheel or a rack c :  archimedes' screw; also :  a conveyor working on the principle of such a screw

  6. 6 :  a usually small self-contained and self-replicating computer program that invades computers on a network and usually performs a destructive action

worm·like play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of worm

  1. I often see worms in the garden.

  2. We always used worms as bait for fishing.

Origin of worm

Middle English, from Old English wyrm serpent, worm; akin to Old High German wurm serpent, worm, Latin vermis worm

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms

Rhymes with worm




Simple Definition of worm

  • : to move or proceed by twisting and turning

  • : to give (an animal) medicine that destroys the small worms that live inside it and cause illness

Full Definition of worm

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to move or proceed sinuously or insidiously

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 a :  to proceed or make (one's way) insidiously or deviously <worm their way into positions of power — Bill Franzen> b :  to insinuate or introduce (oneself) by devious or subtle means c :  to cause to move or proceed in or as if in the manner of a worm

  5. 2 :  to wind rope or yarn spirally round and between the strands of (a cable or rope) before serving

  6. 3 :  to obtain or extract by artful or insidious questioning or by pleading, asking, or persuading —usually used with out of <finally wormed the truth out of him>

  7. 4 :  to treat (an animal) with a drug to destroy or expel parasitic worms

Examples of worm

  1. He slowly wormed through the crowd.

  2. He slowly wormed his way through the crowd.

  3. You should have the dog vaccinated and wormed.


First Known Use of worm


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up worm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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