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(Anobium punctatum larva
Grooves made in wood by woodworms
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wood +‎ worm


woodworm (countable and uncountable, plural woodworms)

  1. Any of many beetle larvae that bore into wood.
    • 1599, Simon Harward, “A Displaying of the wilfull deuises of wicked and vaine worldlings” in Three Sermons, London: Richard Johns,[1]
      [] Chrisostome doth compaire enuie to the wood worm which though it doe breede in the tymber, yet it doth consume & waste the tymber, as enuie springing of the heart doth putrifie and vtterly eat vp the heart.
    • 1872, Robert Louis Stevenson, letter to Mrs. Thomas Stevenson dated July 29, 1872, in Sidney Colvin (editor), The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, New York: Scribner, 1917, Volume I, p. 45,[2]
      There was only one contretemps during the whole interview—the arrival of another visitor, in the shape (surely) the last of God’s creatures, a wood-worm of the most unnatural and hideous appearance, with one great striped horn stucking out of his nose like a boltsprit. If there are many wood-worms in Germany, I shall come home.
    • 1992, Colm Tóibín, chapter 2, in The Heather Blazing, Penguin, published 1994, page 25:
      His father met a man who said that he had the figure from a ship which went aground near Blackwater Head. It would have to be treated for woodworm, he said.
    1. (particularly) Anobium punctatum (common furniture beetle).
  2. A shipworm, a worm-like mollusk in the family Teredinidae that feeds on wood underwater in saltwater.