meal·​worm | \ ˈmēl-ˌwərm How to pronounce mealworm (audio) \

Definition of mealworm

: 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 This isn't the first time scientists have leaned on polymer biodegradation to restore plastic products to their origin materials; mealworms have been known to chow down on polystyrene foam, and waxworms chew and eat polyethylene film. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "A Mutant Enzyme Could Make Recycling Worthwhile," 13 Apr. 2020 Inside the second box, a thousand mealworms wriggled over an egg crate. Jason Plautz, Ars Technica, "“Out poked two antennae”—crafting an insect-based dinner party," 28 Nov. 2019 Another study looked at chirp changes among two experienced mealworm-hunting bats. Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science, "How Hungry Bats Call Dibs On Dinner, And Warn Others to Back Off," 16 Apr. 2014 According to the growers at Livin Farms, many compare mealworms to sunflower seeds, peanuts or pumpkin seeds. Washington Post, "Your Tarantula Tacos are served! How to eat your way to sustainable future.," 16 Dec. 2019 And Ynsect is not alone in its ambitions for mealworms. The Economist, "Beetles and flies are becoming part of the agricultural food chain," 4 July 2019 Hoping to get more insight into the results, the researchers trained chicks in the lab to associate images of either white-striped or yellow-striped frogs with bitter, unpalatable mealworms. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "For Poison Dart Frogs, Markings Matter When It Comes to Survival," 12 Sep. 2019 Heiko Schmaljohann, also of the Institute of Avian Research, attracted Wales wheatears to electronic scales holding plastic dishes full of mealworms. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s northern wheatears are about to embark on a remarkable journey," 10 Aug. 2019 The mission, Zond 5, carried a small menagerie to the Moon, including two tortoises, mealworms, wine flies, and a few other living things. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 2: The 50/50 bet that won the Space Race for America," 17 July 2019

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

1658, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of mealworm was in 1658

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Cite this Entry

“Mealworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2020.

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