worm·hole | \ˈwərm-ˌhōl \

Definition of wormhole 

1 : a hole or passage burrowed by a worm

2 : a hypothetical structure of space-time envisioned as a tunnel connecting points that are separated in space and time

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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 Shakespeare's day - although, admittedly, he used it more literally than most modern writers. 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 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.

Examples of wormhole in a Sentence

We found tiny wormholes in the potatoes.

Recent Examples on the Web

The most massive rap website to emerge from the era was WorldStarHipHop, which rewrote the template in comic sans and offered dystopian wormholes of street rap, twerking videos and amateur fistfights shakily taped on cellphones. Jeff Weiss, latimes.com, "How Instagram and YouTube help underground hip-hop artists and tastemakers find huge audiences," 4 July 2018 The artistic installation features 100 pounds of moss, lichens, other botanical specimens and string models of Einstein-Rosen bridges, or wormholes. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Explore Seattle’s map of ‘high weirdness’: Ghost canoe, rumored troll, Hell Mouth — and more," 28 June 2018 Rather than moralizing over Onira Tech’s invention, Reverie’s pilot simply uses it as a framing device, like a wormhole that takes Kint to new mindscapes instead of alien planets. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "NBC’s new VR thriller Reverie is a schmaltzy take on techno-dystopia," 30 May 2018 There may be a wormhole in the middle of the whole thing. Maggie Lange, The Cut, "Some Thoughts on the Tassel Earring," 28 June 2018 Trying to buy sustainable seafood generally means falling down a wormhole of charts, ranking systems, and misinformation. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "The Best Way to Buy Sustainable Seafood? Support a Local Fishery," 21 June 2018 One way to resolve these problems is if black holes were actually wormholes. Marcus Woo, Scientific American, "Gravitational “Echoes” Could Reveal Colliding Wormholes," 19 June 2018 Set in the distant future, the crew of the Eriophora spends 66 million years building wormhole gates, awoken for a day every million years by their ship’s AI. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The 13 enthralling science fiction and fantasy books you need to check out this June," 1 June 2018 On a Nolita street frequented by European tourists in wide-leg jeans, a wormhole has opened. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "Hesperios Founder Autumn Hruby Just Opened a Cafe in Her Dreamy Manhattan Shop," 21 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of wormhole

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near wormhole

worm fence

worm gear

worm grass


worm into



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Time Traveler for wormhole

The first known use of wormhole was in 1593

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English Language Learners Definition of wormhole

: a hole or passage made by a worm

: a hole or tunnel in outer space that some people believe connects two very distant places

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