tape·​worm | \ ˈtāp-ˌwərm How to pronounce tapeworm (audio) \

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 tapeworm-laden ants didn’t just outlive their siblings, the team found. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 18 May 2021 Usually, someone has to swallow eggs found in the feces of a person who has an intestinal tapeworm to end up in such a state. Aj Willingham, CNN, 30 Dec. 2020 But an operation to remove the lesion revealed a cyst full of tapeworm larvae. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, 5 Oct. 2020 The sleeves of his white uniform flap below his elbows, and his smile looks a little strained, perhaps from his battle with a chronic tapeworm infection. Adam Kuhlmann, Longreads, 15 Apr. 2020 The best way to kill a tapeworm is by properly cooking fish or freezing it for multiple days before eating it. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, 27 May 2020 The other drug is niclosamide, used to treat tapeworms and other parasites. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, 28 Apr. 2020 Also, talk to your vet about treating for tapeworms; pets with fleas are at risk. Karen Asp, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Apr. 2020 More recently, DeRisi’s lab has been behind a push into clinical metagenomic sequencing, developing tests that have helped solve medical mysteries for patients being treated at nearby hospitals, including the case of a brain-invading tapeworm. Megan Molteni, Wired, 10 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tapeworm

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The first known use of tapeworm was in 1706

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Statistics for tapeworm

Last Updated

29 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tapeworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tapeworm. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce tapeworm (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tapeworm (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tapeworm

Nglish: Translation of tapeworm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tapeworm


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