meal·​worm ˈmēl-ˌwərm How to pronounce mealworm (audio)
: the larva of a darkling beetle (especially genus Tenebrio) that infests grain products but is often raised as food for insectivorous animals, for laboratory use, or as fishing bait

Examples of mealworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In exchange for a tasty mealworm snack, the bird ran across canvases with his feet covered in nontoxic paint, creating colorful tracks behind him as visitors watched. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 The experiment showed the corvids could quickly piece together how to ditch birds from the other group in order to maximize mealworms. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Oct. 2023 Fill this toy with treats, like scratch or mealworms, and watch as your chickens roll it around to get the goods. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, 12 July 2023 Small pieces of garden worms get the call as do mealworms at this time. Jim Gronaw, Baltimore Sun, 2 July 2023 So Rebecca researched an alternative way to help the malnutrition problem and came up with her mealworm project in 2019. Scott Luxor,, 19 Aug. 2021 More than a trillion crickets, black soldier flies, mealworms and other species are killed annually, and the sector is expanding rapidly. Lars Chittka, Scientific American, 14 June 2023 Ento, based in the UK, sells mealworm and cricket pâtés at food festivals and last year created a pop-up restaurant devoted to insect cuisine. Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2015 Live pets, including ferrets, guinea pigs, some snakes and reptiles, sit next to parakeets, crickets and mealworms. Hank Beckman, Chicago Tribune, 9 June 2023 See More

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

1658, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mealworm was in 1658

Dictionary Entries Near mealworm

Cite this Entry

“Mealworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


meal·​worm -ˌwərm How to pronounce mealworm (audio)
: any of various small brownish larvae of various beetles that live in grain products and are often raised as food for insect-eating animals or as bait

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