worm·​hole | \ ˈwərm-ˌhōl How to pronounce wormhole (audio) \

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

As adults, the books open up a wormhole of questions — and that’s largely what devotees explore at Laurapalooza. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Little House, Big Fans: These People Really, Really Love Laura Ingalls Wilder," 24 Aug. 2019 While Foster’s study of wormholes and her starstruck romance with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was a solid place to start, further films didn’t allow her character to grow alongside her superhero counterpart. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Marvel's Female Thor Can Finally Do Natalie Portman Justice," 22 July 2019 The flashier fruits of Albert Einstein’s century-old insights are by now deeply embedded in the popular imagination: Black holes, time warps and wormholes show up regularly as plot points in movies, books, TV shows. Wired, "The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries," 14 July 2019 The flashier fruits of Albert Einstein’s century-old insights are by now deeply embedded in the popular imagination: Black holes, time warps and wormholes show up regularly as plot points in movies, books, TV shows. Quanta Magazine, "The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries," 26 June 2019 Season 2 concluded with the crew of the USS Discovery plunging their ship into a wormhole transporting them a whopping 950 years into the future — further into the future that the franchise has ever explored. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Star Trek: Discovery reveals first photos from mysterious season 3," 20 July 2019 One possibility is that the creatures came from a wormhole in space from another point in the galaxy. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The weird Upside Down science behind 'Stranger Things'," 4 July 2019 The crew is tasked with building a wormhole to the titular planet, a major job for the crew and one with massive political implications. Everdeen Mason, Washington Post, "Weirdly Specific Mixtape Vol. 5: Science fiction for foodies," 24 June 2019 Perhaps each particle is free to fractionate into millions of dispersed parts in its own private cosmic wormhole, until a measurement forces it to become whole at some particular location, chosen probabilistically. Quanta Magazine, "How to Tame Quantum Weirdness," 16 Feb. 2017

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



Statistics for wormhole

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wormhole

Nglish: Translation of wormhole for Spanish Speakers

Comments on wormhole

What made you want to look up wormhole? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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