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[boo k-wurm] /ˈbʊkˌwɜrm/
a person devoted to reading or studying.
any of various insects that feed on books, especially a booklouse.
Origin of bookworm
First recorded in 1590-1600; book + worm Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bookworm
Historical Examples
  • Because she has to live with old Vedder who is nothing but a bookworm.

    An Orkney Maid Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • He was something of a bookworm at college, I believe, and has developed a taste for literature.

    Against Odds Lawrence L. Lynch
  • For the rest, he was a bookworm and revelled in intellectual pursuits.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • The bookworm's an uninteresting grub, Whether he's all alone or in a club.

    A Phenomenal Fauna Carolyn Wells
  • This old fellow is Mac, the bookworm, called Worm for short.

    Eight Cousins Louisa M. Alcott
  • And, bookworm as you are, I'll warrant she'll warm your sluggish blood for you.

    The Light of Scarthey

    Egerton Castle
  • He shrugs his shoulders; he is no bookworm; he wants autographs alone.

    The Book-Collector William Carew Hazlitt
  • I suppose I was meant for a bookworm, and yet I didn't like school.

    Miss Grantley's Girls

    Thomas Archer
  • While she should read well and wisely, the girl should not turn into a bookworm.

    The Canadian Girl at Work Marjory MacMurchy
  • I became too mere a bookworm in India, and on my voyage home.

    Macaulay's Life of Samuel Johnson Thomas Babington Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for bookworm


a person excessively devoted to studying or reading
any of various small insects that feed on the binding paste of books, esp the book louse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bookworm

1590s (of people), 1855 of insects or maggots; there is no single species known by this name, which is applied to the anolium beetle, silverfishes, and book lice. See book (n.) + worm (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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