worm

1 of 2

noun

often attributive
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 adjective

worm

2 of 2

verb

wormed; worming; worms

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 powerBill 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

Noun I often see worms in the garden. We always used worms as bait for fishing. Verb He slowly wormed through the crowd. He slowly wormed his way through the crowd. You should have the dog vaccinated and wormed.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Then, six infected with brain worms May 24, 2024 5:50 PM Read Next Florida Man ate raw bacon for years, then Florida doctors find worms in his brain. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 3 June 2024 Following a week dominated by resurfaced revelations about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s brain worm, the parasite itself made a guest appearance during Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2024
Verb
While antiviral drugs can clear patients of replicating virus, HIV is able to worm its way into a patients’ own DNA in certain cells. Jason Mast, STAT, 10 May 2024 But when alien manifestations of their perceptions of each other wreak havoc on the facility, Jerry tries to worm his way out of things — literally. Huntley Woods and Christian Holub, EW.com, 17 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for worm 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'worm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1610, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near worm

Cite this Entry

“Worm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worm. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

worm

1 of 2 noun
1
a
b
: any of various long creeping or crawling animals (as a grub or tapeworm) that usually have soft bodies
2
: a person who is hated or pitied : wretch
3
plural : infection with or disease caused by parasitic worms
4
: something in the form of a coil
5
: a usually small self-contained and self-replicating computer program that invades computers on a network and usually performs a destructive action compare trojan horse sense 2, virus sense 3
wormlike adjective

worm

2 of 2 verb
1
: to obtain by cleverness or trickery or by pleading or persuading
wormed the truth out of him
2
: to move, go, or work slowly in the manner of a worm
wormed out of the trap
wormed my way into a job
3
: to rid (as a dog) of parasitic worms

Medical Definition

worm

1 of 2 noun
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 adjective

worm

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to treat (an animal) with a drug to destroy or expel parasitic worms

More from Merriam-Webster on worm

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