worm

noun, often attributive
\ ˈwərm How to pronounce worm (audio) \

Definition of worm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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)
2a : 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

worm

verb
wormed; worming; worms

Definition of worm (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move or proceed sinuously or insidiously

transitive verb

1a : 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

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Other Words from worm

Noun

wormlike \ ˈwərm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce worm (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for worm

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In Sherborn a red-headed woodpecker and a worm-eating warbler were tallied, and in Waltham a lingering ruddy duck was found at Hardy Pond, and elsewhere in Waltham an alder flycatcher was identified. BostonGlobe.com, 12 June 2021 Parasyte is what happens when a human, Shinichi, and an alien worm, Migi, decide to work together to save themselves and the Earth. Eric Vilas-boas, Vulture, 5 Apr. 2021 By the time the worm escaped Natanz in 2010, and the ruse was up, Stuxnet had quietly destroyed roughly 1,000 centrifuges. New York Times, 5 June 2021 But, as the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Kelsey Mulvey, Good Housekeeping, 4 June 2021 The family cook took a toothpick and removed the worm without a fuss. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 24 May 2021 While most people drink mezcal neat with orange slices and worm salt, turns out it’s terrific in cocktails, too. Katie Chang, Forbes, 23 May 2021 By the end of their experiment, almost every single one of the hundreds of worm-free workers had, unsurprisingly, died. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 18 May 2021 In summer, parents can bring their children, use a worm for bait under a bobber, and have the chance to catch scads of bluegill during the evening dusk bite in shaded coves. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The brother’s lame attempt, after the Enquirer exposed him as its source, to worm his way into the billionaire’s good graces by supporting the Saudi narrative. WSJ, 11 May 2021 While hackers see value in trying to get into connected vehicles, having someone worm their way into your car is not exactly top of mind for people thinking about autonomous and connected vehicles. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, 25 Mar. 2021 Of course a dopey conspiracy theory would worm its way into the conversation. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 5 Nov. 2020 The same goes for the oleaginous Uriah Heep (Ben Whishaw), the legal clerk who can worm into people’s brains, as if into their guts, with his show of humility. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 28 Aug. 2020 The virus that causes Covid-19 can worm its way into any cell with an ACE2 receptor, regardless of the concentration. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, 1 July 2020 Diving plugs, or crankbaits, like Bandits, are catching fish, but not worm harnesses with tandem spinners that are usually hot at this time of year. cleveland, 25 June 2020 Unlike Sanders, Biden simply does not seem to see the problem with allowing lobbyists and plutocratic interests to worm their way inside his campaign. Libby Watson, The New Republic, 23 Apr. 2020 But even if a treacherous automaton had wormed its way into that position, a human would have to program, monitor and maintain the thing. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, 14 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of worm

Noun

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

Verb

1610, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for worm

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for worm

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for worm

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worm. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for worm

worm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of worm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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
informal + disapproving : a person who is not liked or respected : a very bad person

worm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of worm (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

noun
\ ˈwərm How to pronounce worm (audio) \

Kids Definition of worm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from worm

wormlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

worm

verb
wormed; worming

Kids Definition of worm (Entry 2 of 2)

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

worm

noun
\ ˈwərm How to pronounce worm (audio) \

Medical Definition of worm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from worm

wormlike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce worm (audio) \ adjective

worm

transitive verb

Medical Definition of worm (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on worm

Nglish: Translation of worm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about worm

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