1

worm

noun, often attributive \ ˈwərm \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of worm

1 a :earthworm; broadly :an annelid worm
b :any of numerous relatively small elongated usually naked and soft-bodied animals (such as a grub, pinworm, tapeworm, shipworm, or slowworm)
2 a :a human being who is an object of contempt, loathing, or pity :wretch
b :something that torments or devours from within
3 archaic :snake, serpent
4 :helminthiasis usually used in plural
5 :something (such as a mechanical device) spiral or vermiculate in form or appearance: such as
a :the thread of a screw
b :a short revolving screw whose threads gear with the teeth of a worm wheel or a rack
c :archimedes' screw; also :a conveyor working on the principle of such a screw
6 :a usually small self-contained and self-replicating computer program that invades computers on a network and usually performs a destructive action

wormlike

play \ˈwərm-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of worm in a Sentence

  1. I often see worms in the garden.

  2. We always used worms as bait for fishing.

Recent Examples of worm from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'worm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of worm

Middle English, from Old English wyrm serpent, worm; akin to Old High German wurm serpent, worm, Latin vermis worm

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms


2

worm

verb

Definition of worm

intransitive verb
:to move or proceed sinuously or insidiously
transitive verb
1 a :to proceed or make (one's way) insidiously or deviously
  • worm their way into positions of power
  • —Bill Franzen
b :to insinuate or introduce (oneself) by devious or subtle means
c :to cause to move or proceed in or as if in the manner of a worm
2 :to wind rope or yarn spirally round and between the strands of (a cable or rope) before serving
3 :to obtain or extract by artful or insidious questioning or by pleading, asking, or persuading usually used with out of
  • finally wormed the truth out of him
4 :to treat (an animal) with a drug to destroy or expel parasitic worms

Examples of worm in a Sentence

  1. He slowly wormed through the crowd.

  2. He slowly wormed his way through the crowd.

  3. You should have the dog vaccinated and wormed.

Recent Examples of worm from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'worm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of worm

1610



WORM Defined for English Language Learners

worm

noun

Definition of worm for English Language Learners

  • : a long, thin animal that has a soft body with no legs or bones and that often lives in the ground

  • : the young form of some insects that looks like a small worm

  • : a person who is not liked or respected : a very bad person


worm

verb

Definition of worm for English Language Learners

  • : to move or proceed by twisting and turning

  • : to give (an animal) medicine that destroys the small worms that live inside it and cause illness


WORM Defined for Kids

1

worm

noun \ ˈwərm \

Definition of worm for Students

1 :a usually long creeping or crawling animal (as a tapeworm) that has a soft body
3 :a person hated or pitied
4 worms plural :infection caused by parasitic worms living in the body
  • a dog with worms

wormlike

\-ˌlīk\ adjective

2

worm

verb

Definition of worm for Students

wormed; worming
1 :to move slowly by creeping or wriggling
  • She rolled on her back, her tears worming down her face into her ears.
  • —Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
2 :to get hold of or escape from by trickery
  • I tried to worm my way out of trouble.
  • … the doctor had wormed this secret from him …
  • —Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
3 :to rid of parasitic worms

Medical Dictionary

1

worm

noun \ ˈwərm \

medical Definition of worm

1 :any of various relatively small elongated usually naked and soft-bodied parasitic animals (as of the phylum Platyhelminthes)
2 :helminthiasis usually used in plural
  • a dog with worms

wormlike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

2

worm

transitive verb

medical Definition of worm

:to treat (an animal) with a drug to destroy or expel parasitic worms


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