ear·​worm ˈir-ˌwərm How to pronounce earworm (audio)
: a song or melody that keeps repeating in one's mind

Examples of earworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Big releases from Drake, Doja Cat, and Nicki Minaj promise to populate your fall flowerbeds with an earworm or two, while Oneohtrix Point Never is burrowing back underground after his triumphant stint as the Weeknd’s sideman. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 11 Sep. 2023 Grande launched her first perfume, Ari, in 2015, and has since expanded her aromatic empire to include Thank U, Next; R.E.M.; and God Is A Woman—all references to some of her most popular earworms. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 28 Aug. 2023 New research from a team of neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, maps out regions of the human brain that make earworms—and music perception more broadly—possible. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Aug. 2023 The 1989 film swelled with passion and longing, transported us to unseen worlds, and left us with indelible characters and glorious earworms. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 30 July 2023 The five-piece girl group's latest EP, 'Kill My Doubt,' is out now Itzy delivers the full package on their latest EP — from a surprisingly personal track about finding inner strength to a shiny summer earworm that K-pop fans won’t be able to stop streaming. Mackenzie Schmidt, Peoplemag, 1 Aug. 2023 His irresistible, multiplatinum earworms dominated the rap charts in the early ’00s and cemented him as a Dirty South rap icon—his knack for polysyllabic rhymes and ribald humor offering a lighter counter to the gritty trap largely defining southern rap at the time. Gerrick Kennedy, Men's Health, 1 Aug. 2023 The song’s success is largely a function of an earworm vocal that adds melody over the track’s thumping, scintillating percussion which builds to a perfectly effective build and release, altogether cultivating the kind of party anthem these guys have made their name on. Katie Bain, Billboard, 28 July 2023 There was fast, percussive guitar strumming; earworm riffs; frenetic drumming; and melodies full of stadium-ready sing-along moments, delivered in a nasal style that flirted with whining and sometimes crossed over into yelling. Peter C. Baker, The New Yorker, 28 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earworm.' 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

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of earworm was in 1802

Dictionary Entries Near earworm

Cite this Entry

“Earworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earworm. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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