earworm

noun
ear·​worm | \ ˈir-ˌwərm How to pronounce earworm (audio) \

Definition of earworm

2 : a song or melody that keeps repeating in one's mind

Examples of earworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Groove with Jhené Aiko and Doja Cat, whose excellent singles will become total earworms. Courtney E. Smith, refinery29.com, "Refresh Your Playlist This Spring With The Best New Songs Of The Season," 9 Mar. 2020 Since the show's release on December 20, the surprising banger has proven to be an earworm and fodder for many covers and internet memes. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "That 'Toss a Coin' song from 'The Witcher' is streaming now," 22 Jan. 2020 That opening number, about the irresistible charm of holiday movie meet-cutes, is an earworm. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "Second City returns to Washington with familiar gifts in ‘She the People’ and ‘Love, Factually’," 13 Dec. 2019 Its title alone has become shorthand for an earworm propelled through social media to become 21st-century digital folk culture. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "‘Baby Shark’ Smells Money Onstage," 15 Nov. 2019 Who knew the catchiest earworm of 2019 would come from a lute? Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'The Witcher': Henry Cavill's Netflix fantasy is so bad, it's downright fantastic," 2 Jan. 2020 That's where a radio station in Houston heard the earworm, and invited Gondesen to the studio to play on air for the very first time. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "An 83-year-old great-grandpa's Christmas song finally made it on the radio. Next up? World domination.," 6 Dec. 2019 Its second season, Deutschland 86, takes the efforts of Communist spies more international with equally thrilling setpieces and an earworm-ready 80s synth soundtrack. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "TV changed a lot in the 2010s, and the decade’s best reflects that," 21 Dec. 2019 So low-key that not even Ray Parker Jr.’s earworm of a song is used. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Can Step Out of the Shadow of a Giant," 9 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earworm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of earworm

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for earworm

Time Traveler

The first known use of earworm was in 1802

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Statistics for earworm

Last Updated

15 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Earworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earworm. Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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