: a hole or passage burrowed by a worm
: a hypothetical structure of space-time envisioned as a long thin tunnel connecting points that are separated in space and time
Some science fiction writers speculate that wormholes will become the intergalactic highways of the future.
Did You Know?
If you associate "wormhole" with quantum physics and sci-fi, you'll probably be surprised to learn that the word has been around since Shakespeare's day -- although, admittedly, he used it more literally than most modern writers. To Shakespeare, a "wormhole" was simply a hole made by a worm, but even the Bard subtly linked "wormholes" to the passage of time; for example, in The Rape of Lucrece, he notes time's destructive power "to fill with worm-holes stately monuments." To modern astrophysicists, a wormhole isn't a tunnel wrought by a slimy invertebrate, but a theoretical tunnel between two black holes or other points in space-time, providing a shortcut between its end points.
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