silk·​worm ˈsilk-ˌwərm How to pronounce silkworm (audio)
: a moth whose larva spins a large amount of strong silk in constructing its cocoon
especially : an Asian moth (Bombyx mori of the family Bombycidae) whose rough wrinkled hairless caterpillar produces the silk of commerce

Examples of silkworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Along the road are several quaint shops selling regional crafts, including bamboo goods, pottery, and whimsical local folkart made from the cocoons of silkworms. John Clifford, Travel + Leisure, 20 Apr. 2024 Inside each cocoon, the silkworm’s cells were dying so the creature could become a silk moth. Quanta Magazine, 6 Mar. 2024 Among the animals were water buffalo (the most important, since they were used for pulling plows), as well as silkworms, ducks, and geese. Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 But the most common is Mulberry silk, made by Mulberry silkworms. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 13 Nov. 2023 Know the difference between silk, Mulberry silk, and satin Silk is the protein fiber produced by silkworms. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 13 Nov. 2023 The type of silk depends on the silkworm that created it. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 13 Nov. 2023 The researchers are optimistic that large-scale commercialization could be in the silkworms’ future. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Oct. 2023 Mi’s team is the first to create silkworms whose excretions are ostensibly identical to spiders’ web material. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 21 Sep. 2023

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of silkworm was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near silkworm

Cite this Entry

“Silkworm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


silk·​worm ˈsil-ˌkwərm How to pronounce silkworm (audio)
: any of various moth larvae that spin a large amount of silk to make a cocoon
especially : a wrinkled hairless yellowish caterpillar that is the larva of an Asian moth, is raised in captivity on mulberry leaves, and produces a strong silk that is the silk most often used for thread or cloth

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