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

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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 To become an inchworm. Country Living, 31 Mar. 2023 Another unremarkable caterpillar—a tiny brown inchworm—represented not just a new species but possibly a new genus. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2023 The device is built from a strip of light-responsive polymer that arcs and straightens akin to an inchworm, while liquid crystal elastomers and synthetic magnet patches mimic on either end geckos’ gravity-defying grip. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 27 Feb. 2023 The simulated and real robots can use shape change to switch between rolling gaits and inchworm gaits, to locomote in multiple environments. IEEE Spectrum, 23 Jan. 2023 Similar to the inchworm, this move is great to start up or finish off your workout. Men's Health, 13 Jan. 2023 Do the inchworm for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds before returning to the top. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 28 May 2022 Do the squat jack for 20 seconds, then rest 10 seconds before moving onto the inchworm. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 28 May 2022 This single-leg inchworm builds on all of that and provides more unilateral work to build balanced strength, mobility, and flexibility. Rozalynn S. Frazier, SELF, 30 Dec. 2021 See More

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

circa 1861, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inchworm was circa 1861

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Cite this Entry

“Inchworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

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