screwworm

noun

screw·​worm ˈskrü-ˌwərm How to pronounce screwworm (audio)
1
: a blowfly (Cochliomyia hominivorax) of the warmer parts of America whose larva develops in sores or wounds or in the nostrils of mammals including humans with serious or sometimes fatal results
especially : its larva
2
: any of several flies other than the screwworm and especially their larvae which parasitize the flesh of mammals

Examples of screwworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sterilized male screwworms are released to mate with females, which lay eggs that don’t hatch. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 28 June 2023 The successful screwworm campaign relied on blasts of radiation to sterilize the males. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 11 May 2017 Since the 1950s, the US government has used it to tamp down screwworms, parasitic flies that feed on the flesh of livestock. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 28 June 2023 The technique is so effective, the US was able to completely eradicate the screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) in 1982. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 27 Jan. 2015 Primary myiasis is caused by the screwworm’s fly cousins and involves a deliberate breach of skin and tissue by larvae. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 22 July 2013 The larvae were sent to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and were identified as the New World screwworm. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 22 July 2013 Similar techniques have been applied before, reaching as far back as the 1950s when sterile screwworm flies were released in Florida, effectively eliminating the parasitic species there. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 11 May 2017 This approach eradicated the screwworm in the United States. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 See More

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

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of screwworm was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near screwworm

Cite this Entry

“Screwworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/screwworm. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

screwworm

noun
screw·​worm ˈskrü-ˌwərm How to pronounce screwworm (audio)
: the larva of a blowfly of the warm parts of America that develops in the wounds or sores of mammals and may cause disease or death
also : the blowfly itself

Medical Definition

screwworm

noun
screw·​worm ˈskrü-ˌwərm How to pronounce screwworm (audio)
1
: either of two dipteran flies of the genus Cochliomyia:
a
: one (C. hominivorax) of the warmer parts of America whose larva develops in sores or wounds or in the nostrils of mammals including humans with serious or sometimes fatal results
especially : its larva
2
: a dipteran fly of the genus Chrysomya (C. bezziana) that causes myiasis in Africa and southern Asia

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