gape·​worm ˈgāp-ˌwərm How to pronounce gapeworm (audio)
 sometimes  ˈgap-
: a nematode worm (Syngamus trachea) that causes gapes (see gape entry 2 sense 4) in birds

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web He and other rehabbers are overloaded with waterfowl riddled with gapeworm, a parasite that lives and breeds in a bird’s trachea and causes it to gasp or shake its head. New York Times, 20 July 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gapeworm was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near gapeworm

Cite this Entry

“Gapeworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


gape·​worm ˈgāp-ˌwərm How to pronounce gapeworm (audio)
: a nematode worm of the genus Syngamus (S. trachea) that causes gapes of birds
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