worm·​hole ˈwərm-ˌhōl How to pronounce wormhole (audio)
: a hole or passage burrowed by a worm
: a hypothetical structure of space-time envisioned as a tunnel connecting points that are separated in space and time

Did you know?

If you associate wormhole with quantum physics and sci-fi, you'll probably be surprised to learn that the word has been around since William Shakespeare's day. To Shakespeare, a "wormhole" was simply a hole made by a worm, but even the Bard subtly linked wormholes to the passage of time; for example, in the poem The Rape of Lucrece, he notes time's destructive power "to fill with worm-holes stately monuments." To modern astrophysicists, a wormhole isn't a tunnel wrought by a slimy invertebrate, but a theoretical tunnel between two black holes or other points in space-time, providing a shortcut between its end points.

Example Sentences

We found tiny wormholes in the potatoes.
Recent Examples on the Web Bright attributed the ‘’inappropriate ... bombast’' of the defendants to the stress of that year, frustrations that drive them into the ‘’wormhole’' of right-wing media. Spencer S. Hsu, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Nov. 2022 And one of the possible arrangements of space time is a wormhole. Tulika Bose, Scientific American, 19 Aug. 2022 And that’s when Carl rewrote that section of the novel to be a wormhole. Vulture, 29 June 2022 Shug’s bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel is a wormhole to the East Coast. Nick Rallo, Dallas News, 13 Apr. 2022 In a dystopian future, Matthew McConaughey travels through a wormhole to save humanity as Earth edges toward uninhabitability. Elisa Neckar, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2014 From there, the friendly neighborhood superhero swoops and swings through the city and beyond, going along for a ride with Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen through what looks to be a wormhole-like tunnel that spans various dimensions. Dan Heching, CNN, 13 Dec. 2022 One wormhole wings your pod across a digital Atlantic and deposits you in front of a quaint green building on the banks of a pixelated river. Jason Guriel, Longreads, 10 Nov. 2022 Some physicists thought the quantum simulation was too pared down compared to the theoretical model it was based on to have a holographic dual description as a wormhole. Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine, 22 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wormhole was in 1593


Dictionary Entries Near wormhole

Cite this Entry

“Wormhole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wormhole. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


worm·​hole ˈwərm-ˌhōl How to pronounce wormhole (audio)
: a hole or passage made by a worm
: a hypothetical object that is thought of as a tunnel connecting points that are widely separated in space and time

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