inch·​worm | \ ˈinch-ˌwərm How to pronounce inchworm (audio) \

Definition of inchworm

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The larva of any member of a large, widespread group of moths is called an inchworm. Also called loopers, inchworms move in a characteristic “inching” or “looping” gait by extending the front part of the body and bringing the rear up to meet it. Resembling twigs or leaf stems, they feed on foliage and can seriously damage or even destroy trees.

Examples of inchworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From inchworm crawling to star jumps, these challenges will keep busybodies occupied (and can provide a nice break in the workday for parents). Sian Babish,, "Best indoor toys for bored kids," 4 Aug. 2020 Stretching as a warm-up should focus on dynamic moves, or those that include movement—say, like an inchworm rather than simply touching your toes. Christa Sgobba, SELF, "5 Post-Workout Stretches That Will Loosen Up Your Tight Muscles," 4 Aug. 2020 This allows the shrews to scrunch their spines up like inchworms, according to a statement, and withstand an enormous amount of force for their weight and size, which is comparable to that of a rat. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hero Shrews’ Extreme, Superstrong Backbones Are the Stuff of Legend," 30 Apr. 2020 Tailored to maximize movement, some scooted along the bottom of a Petri dish like microscopic inchworms, powered solely by the contractions of the heart cells studding their interiors. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Assemble Frog Stem Cells Into First ‘Living Machines’," 13 Jan. 2020 The core program was a loop of deadlifts, inchworms, burpees, and hollow body holds, all of which are standard repertoire at my gym. Zachary Lewis,, "Home exercise options abound with Studio Sweat OnDemand: Stretching Out," 23 Aug. 2019 By expanding the top surface while contracting the bottom surface, a flat robot can move along like an inchworm, to give one example. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers make a robotic fish with a battery for blood," 19 June 2019 Apparently at some point, perhaps millions of years ago, there was a bitter dispute between dogs and inchworms, and Daisy has not forgotten. Dave Barry, miamiherald, "Classic '98: PSSST! Great investment advice! | Miami Herald," 30 Apr. 2018 Tiger Woods is back, Rory McIlroy is hot, Phil Mickelson is back and hot, Jordan Spieth is lurking, Dustin Johnson is hitting tee shots 600 yards, Rickie Fowler is going to dress like an inchworm and Justin Thomas will try to destroy them all. Michael Rosenberg,, "Tiger Woods' Return Is the Big Story at Augusta, But It's Far From the Only One," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inchworm.' 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 inchworm

circa 1861, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for inchworm

Time Traveler

The first known use of inchworm was circa 1861

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Cite this Entry

“Inchworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for inchworm


inch·​worm | \ ˈinch-ˌwərm How to pronounce inchworm (audio) \

Kids Definition of inchworm

: a small caterpillar that is a larva of a moth and moves by bringing forward the hind part of the body and then extending forward the front part of the body

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