English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , worm , werm , wurm , from wirm Old English ‘snake, worm’, from wyrm Proto-Germanic (compare *wurmiz Dutch , worm West Frisian , wjirm German , Wurm Danish ), from orm Proto-Indo-European (compare *wr̥mis Latin '‘worm’, vermis Lithuanian ‘insect, midge’, var̃mas Albanian ‘rainworm’, rrime Ancient Greek ( ῥόμος rhómos, “ woodworm ”)), possibly from ‘to turn’. First computer usage by John Brunner in his 1975 book *wer- . The Shockwave Rider
Pronunciation [ edit ]
worm ( plural ) worms
tubular invertebrate of the annelid phylum.
: 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, The China Governess 
‘Children crawled over each other like little grey worms in the gutters,’ he said. ‘The only red things about them were their buttocks and they were raw. Their faces looked as if snails had slimed on them and their mothers were like great sick beasts whose byres had never been cleared. […]’ A
contemptible or devious being.
Don't try to run away, you little worm!
Bible, Psalms xxii. 6
I am a
worm, and no man.
( computing ) A self-replicating program that propagates through a network.
( cricket ) A graphical representation of the total runs scored in an innings. Anything
helical, especially the thread of a screw.
The threads of screws, when bigger than can be made in screw plates, are called
A spiral instrument or screw, often like a double corkscrew, used for drawing balls from firearms.
( anatomy ) A muscular band in the tongue of some animals, such as dogs; the lytta. The condensing tube of a
still, often curved and wound to save space. A short revolving screw whose threads drive, or are driven by, a worm wheel by gearing into its teeth or cogs.
( archaic ) A dragon or mythological serpent.
( obsolete ) Any creeping or crawling animal, such as a snake, snail, or caterpillar.
Tyndale (Acts xxviii. 3, 4)
There came a viper out of the heat, and leapt on his hand. When the men of the country saw the
worm hang on his hand, they said, This man must needs be a murderer. Shakespeare
'Tis slander, / Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue / Outvenoms all the
worms of Nile. Longfellow
When Cerberus perceived us, the great
worm, / His mouth he opened and displayed his tusks. An
internal tormentor; something that gnaws or afflicts one's mind with remorse.
— The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul! Richard III, William Shakespeare
( mathematics ) A strip of linked tiles sharing parallel edges in a tiling.
Translations [ edit ]
, skoks skoksis Afrikaans:
( キキㇼ kikir) Albanian:
دُودَة ( f dūda), ( collective ) دُودٌ ( pl dūd) Armenian:
( որդ ord), ( ճիճու čiču)
( որդն ordn) Aromanian:
guxán , m viérbene m, f Azeri:
qurd (az) Bashkir:
( ҡорт qort) Basque:
, beldar , zizare , arr har Belarusian:
чарвяк ( m čarvjak) Breton:
preñv (br) m Bulgarian:
червей (bg) ( m červej) Burmese:
( တီကောင် tikaung) ( earthworm ), သန်ကောင် ( (my) sankaung) ( intestinal parasite ) Catalan:
cuc (ca) m Cebuano:
蟲子 , (zh) 虫子 ( (zh) chóngzi), 蟲 , (zh) 虫 ( (zh) chóng) Czech:
červ (cs) m Danish:
orm (da) c Dutch:
worm (nl) , m pier (nl) , m wurm (nl) m Erzya:
( сукс suks) Esperanto:
vermo (eo) Estonian:
uss (et) Finnish:
mato (fi) French:
ver (fr) m Friulian:
verme (gl) m Georgian:
( ჭია čia) German:
Wurm (de) m Greek:
σκουλήκι (el) ( n skoulíki)
σκώληξ ( m skṓlēks), ἕλμινς ( f hélmins), ἕλμις ( f hélmis) Hebrew:
תתולע ( f toláat) Hindi:
कीड़ा ( m kīṛā) Hungarian:
kukac , (hu) féreg (hu) Icelandic:
maðkur (is) , m ormur (is) Indonesian:
cacing (id) Irish:
péist (ga) , f cruimh , f cuiteog
cruim f Italian:
verme (it) m Japanese:
虫 ( (ja) ), むし, mushí ( 虫螻 むしけら, mushikera) Jèrriais:
vèr m Karachay-Balkar:
( къурт qurt) Kazakh:
( құрт qurt) Khmer:
ដង្កូវ ( (km) dɑngkəv) Korean:
벌레 ( (ko) beolle) Kurdish:
kirm , (ku) kurm (ku) Sorani:
کرم (kirm) (ku) Kyrgyz:
( курт kurt) Lao:
ຂີ້ກະເດືອນ ( (lo) khī ka dư̄an), ( ຫນອນ nǭn) Latgalian:
tuorps , m tuorpeņš m Latin:
vermis (la) m Latvian:
tārps (lv) m
kirmėlė , f kirminas (also means insect larvae) m Low German:
German Low German:
Worm (nds) m Macedonian:
црв ( m crv) Malay:
പുഴു ( (ml) puḻu) Manx:
beishteig f Maori:
, noke toke (mi) Mapudungun:
( اجیک ajik) Mohegan-Pequot:
( өт öt) Navajo:
vierme m North Frisian:
wörem m Norwegian:
mark (no) , m makk , m orm (no) m Occitan:
vèrm (oc) m Ojibwe:
(please verify) moose Old Church Slavonic:
чрьвь ( m črĭvĭ), глиста f Glagolitic:
ⱍⱃⱐⰲⱐ ( m črĭvĭ) Oromo:
کرم ( (fa) kerm) Polish:
robak (pl) , m ( grub ) czerw (pl) m Portuguese:
verme (pt) m Romanian:
vierme (ro) m Romansch:
verm , m vierm , m vearm m Russian:
червь (ru) ( m červʹ), червяк (ru) ( m červjak), ( helminth ) глист (ru) ( m glist) Scottish Gaelic:
baoiteag , f biastag , f boiteag , f brùiteag , f brutag , f cnuimh , f daolag , f durrag f Serbo-Croatian:
црв , m глиста f Roman:
crv (sh) , m glista (sh) f Sicilian:
vemmu m Slovak:
červ m Slovene:
črv (sl) m Sorbian:
wužeńc , m cerw m Sotho:
seboko (st) Spanish:
gusano (es) , m lombriz (es) f Swedish:
mask (sv) c Tajik:
( кирм kirm) Tamil:
புழு ( (ta) puḻu) Taos:
суалчан ( (tt) sualçan) Telugu:
పురుగు ( (te) purugu) Thai:
หนอน ( (th) nááwn) Tlingit:
kurt (tr) Turkmen:
, gurçuk möjek Ukrainian:
черв'як ( m červʺjak), черв ( m červ) ( scientific ) Unami:
کیڑا ( m kīṛā) Uzbek:
qurt (uz) Vietnamese:
giun , (vi) con giun Volapük:
vum , (vo) ( collective ) vumem Welsh:
mwydyn , m llyngyren , m abwydyn m Yucatec Maya:
isibungu class 7/ 8
something helical, especially the thread of a screw
dragon or mythological serpent
worm ( third-person singular simple present , worms present participle , worming simple past and past participle ) wormed
( transitive ) To make (one's way) with a crawling motion.
We wormed our way through the underbrush.
( intransitive , figuratively ) To work one's way by artful or devious means.
George Herbert (1593-1633)
When debates and fretting jealousy / Did
worm and work within you more and more, / Your colour faded.
( transitive , figuratively ) To work (one's way or oneself) (into) gradually or slowly; to insinuate.
He wormed his way into the organization To effect, remove, drive, draw, or the like, by slow and secret means; often followed by
Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
They find themselves
wormed out of all power.
( transitive , figuratively ) To " worm out of", to " drag out of" (often: "drag every word out of someone"), to get information that someone is reluctant or unwilling to give (through artful or devious means or by pleading or asking repeatedly). Often combined with expressions such as "It's like pulling teeth" or "It's like getting blood out of a stone".
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
[… ] wormed things out of me that I had no desire to tell.
1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, , The Lodger Ch.XXII:
He nodded. "Mum's the word, Mrs. Bunting! It'll all be in the last editions of the evening newspapers—it can't be kep' out. There'd be too much of a row if twas!" ¶ "Are you going off to that public-house now?" she asked. ¶ "I've got a awk'ard job—to try and
worm something out of the barmaid."
( transitive , nautical ) To fill in the contlines of a rope before parcelling and serving.
Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.
( transitive ) To deworm an animal.
( intransitive ) To move with one's body dragging the ground.
1919, William Joseph Long, How animals talk: and other pleasant studies of birds and beast
Inch by inch I
wormed along the secret passageway, flat to the ground, not once raising my head, hardly daring to pull a full breath [… ].
( transitive ) To cut the worm, or lytta, from under the tongue of (a dog, etc.) for the purpose of checking a disposition to gnaw, and formerly supposed to guard against canine madness.
Walter Scott (1771-1832)
The men assisted the laird in his sporting parties,
wormed his dogs, and cut the ears of his terrier puppies.
( transitive ) To clean by means of a worm; to draw a wad or cartridge from, as a firearm.
Translations [ edit ]
to make one's way with a crawling motion
to get (into) gradually or slowly
to get information that someone is reluctant to give
(nautical) to fill in the contlines of a rope before parcelling and serving
to cure of intestinal worms
to move with one's body dragging the ground
to work one's way by artful or devious means
Derived terms [ edit ]
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
 The Free Dictionary, Farlex Inc., 2010.
Alternative forms [ edit ]
Pronunciation [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Old Dutch , *wurm , from *worm Proto-Germanic , from *wurmiz Proto-Indo-European . Compare English *wr̥mis , West Frisian worm , German wjirm , Danish Wurm . orm
worm ( m plural , wormen diminutive ) wormpje n
See also [ edit ]