earth·​worm ˈərth-ˌwərm How to pronounce earthworm (audio)
: a terrestrial annelid worm (class Oligochaeta)
especially : any of a family (Lumbricidae) of numerous widely distributed hermaphroditic worms that move through the soil by means of setae and feed on decaying organic matter

Examples of earthworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then, an earthworm might come along and eat one of the smaller chunks and break it down even more in its digestive tract. Brian Darby, Discover Magazine, 29 Mar. 2024 In terms of agricultural significance, the Worm Moon is a positive sign for farmers and gardeners because active earthworms benefit soil health. The Arizona Republic, 4 Mar. 2024 Burping olms sometimes spat up parts of earthworm species that aren’t found underground, suggesting that the olms hunt during their forays topside. Elizabeth Anne Brown, New York Times, 12 Mar. 2024 Take care: Use your hands to reach through the soil to limit the impact on the tiny creatures that help create a good growing medium, like earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 1 Mar. 2024 The local tackle shop is a good starting point for bait, but if time permits, involving young anglers in digging up earthworms or catching crickets and small grasshoppers deepens the angling experience. David A. Brown, Field & Stream, 28 Feb. 2024 Named for the emergence of earthworms as the ground thaws, the worm moon is supposed to symbolize renewal and growth. The Arizona Republic, 4 Mar. 2024 According to stargazing app Star Walk, the lunar name marks the appearance of earthworms in the soil — a symbol of the forthcoming spring. Stephanie Vermillion, Travel + Leisure, 1 Mar. 2024 When European earthworms were introduced to North America, these non-native earthworms quickly invaded many North American soils. oregonlive, 26 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earthworm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of earthworm was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near earthworm

Cite this Entry

“Earthworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


earth·​worm -ˌwərm How to pronounce earthworm (audio)
: a long slender annelid worm that lives in damp earth, moves with the aid of bristles, and feeds on decaying organic matter

More from Merriam-Webster on earthworm

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!