tape·​worm | \ˈtāp-ˌwərm \

Definition of tapeworm 

: any of a class (Cestoda) of bilaterally symmetrical flatworms that are parasitic as adults in the intestines of vertebrates including humans and consist of a scolex usually with suckers or hooks followed posteriorly by an undifferentiated neck region from which buds off an often long chain of proglottids In most instances, adult tapeworms have little visible effect on their hosts except in heavy infections, which may result in anemia, weight loss, and various secondary manifestations.— Burton J. Bogitsh et al.

called also cestode

Examples of tapeworm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Post's Sarah Kaplan put it best: The life of a tapeworm unfolds over three stages. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "He ate raw fish almost every day — until a 5-foot-long tapeworm slithered out of his body," 19 Jan. 2018 Cordero’s eye worm was identified as Taenia Solium, more commonly called a pork tapeworm, and also rare. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "He saw a little black dot. A brain-eating worm was pulled out of his eye," 13 Feb. 2018 Eosinophils are usually sent out when the invader is a parasite like the one that causes trichinosis (from eating undercooked pork) or a tapeworm. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "Why Did the Young Woman’s Heartburn Keep Getting Worse?," 16 May 2018 Wrapped around it is, of course, this giant, long — what looks like a flat tapeworm, just sitting in there. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Sushi Lover Pulled a 5-Foot Tapeworm Out of His Body," 19 Jan. 2018 In addition to highlighting the contents of a typical 17th-century Danish diet, the latrines reveal the poor sanitary conditions of the period—roundworm, tapeworm and whipworm eggs were all present in the deposits. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unseal 17th-Century Danish Latrines to Discover Copenhageners’ Dietary Habits," 9 July 2018 The document must contain vaccination and rabies records, plus proof of a tapeworm test, depending on the country. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "Amid safety concerns, some pet owners embrace alternatives to flying," 30 Apr. 2018 Question: There have been some pretty gruesome emergencies this season, like the guy who gets burned in a tanning bed and the man with a 7-foot tapeworm inside him. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Angela Bassett on grossest '9-1-1' emergencies, favorite 'Black Panther' memes," 20 Mar. 2018 Don't use poop as compost Last year, a soldier who escaped North Korea was found to have several tapeworms growing in his stomach. Rebecca Kurson, Good Housekeeping, "10 Genius Tips For Dog-Proofing Your Garden," 17 Jan. 2018

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

1706, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tapeworm

from its shape

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Statistics for tapeworm

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tapeworm

The first known use of tapeworm was in 1706

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More Definitions for tapeworm



English Language Learners Definition of tapeworm

: a long, flat worm that lives in the intestines of people and animals


tape·​worm | \ˈtāp-ˌwərm \

Kids Definition of tapeworm

: a worm with a long flat body that lives as a parasite in the intestines of people and animals


tape·​worm | \ˈtāp-ˌwərm \

Medical Definition of tapeworm 

: any of the class Cestoda of flatworms that are parasitic as adults in the digestive tract of vertebrates including humans and as larvae in a great variety of vertebrates and invertebrates, that typically consist of an attachment organ usually with suckers, grooves, hooks, or other devices for adhering to the host's intestine followed by an undifferentiated growth region from which buds off a chain of segments of which the anterior members are little more than blocks of tissue, the median members have fully developed organs of both sexes, and the posterior members are degenerated to egg-filled sacs, that have no digestive system and absorb food through the body wall, and that have a nervous system consisting of ganglia and commissures in the scolex and longitudinal cords extending the length of the strobila

called also cestode

— see beef tapeworm, cat tapeworm, dog tapeworm, fish tapeworm, fringed tapeworm, pork tapeworm

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