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 Since there was no evidence of any consumption of fish at the site—which was likely mainly occupied during the winter season—the authors believe the dog picked up the tapeworm eggs from one of the home settlements elsewhere. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 Microscopic egg of fish tapeworm found in dog coprolite. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 20 May 2022 That analysis revealed the presence of parasitic eggs from four different species: whipworm, beef/pork tapeworm, roundworm, and pinworm. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 11 Feb. 2022 Though relatively uncommon in the US, parasitic meningitis is more widespread in other parts of the world, according to the NINDS, and is usually linked to a tapeworm. Sarah Lemire, Health.com, 10 Dec. 2021 Eating undercooked pork and being around unsanitary conditions are two of the most common ways to get a tapeworm. Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2021 One example of this is when someone who knowingly or unknowingly has a tapeworm prepares a meal and contaminates the food given to another person. Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2021 In the case of the Massachusetts man, Boston doctors saw a case of a tapeworm that was still affecting him decades later. Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2021 Researchers, led by the Silkeborg Museum's Nina Nielsen, also reported finding eggs and proteins from intestinal worms, indicating that the man was infected with parasites including tapeworm, whipworm and mawworm. Julia Musto, Fox News, 25 July 2021 See More

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.

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of tapeworm was in 1706

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Dictionary Entries Near tapeworm



tapeworm plant

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Statistics for tapeworm

Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tapeworm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tapeworm. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tapeworm


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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