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[kang-ker-wurm] /ˈkæŋ kərˌwɜrm/
the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths: a foliage pest of various fruit and shade trees, as Paleacrita vernata (spring cankerworm) and Alsophila pometaria (fall cankerworm)
Origin of cankerworm
First recorded in 1520-30; canker + worm Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cankerworm
Historical Examples
  • Paris society, I know for a fact; has many such a cankerworm in its heart.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • Sickness, like a cankerworm, was gnawing at her life, and dragging her towards the tomb.

    Poor Folk Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • cankerworm, a worm which is very destructive to trees and plants.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher
  • Then surely would the years eaten by the cankerworm be given back!

  • I want to see child-faces—even if they can be clouded by envy's cankerworm!

    Lucky Pehr August Strindberg
  • Her son was not, and her fair daughter was withering before her, as a flower on which the cankerworm had fixed its teeth.

  • These birds also eat immense numbers of cankerworm eggs before they hatch into worms.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • Nearly all the common birds feed freely upon the cankerworm, and benefit the orchard in so doing.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • Throughout the winter a single chickadee will destroy great numbers of the eggs of the cankerworm moth and of the plant louse.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • Raupenleim: a patented sticky substance used to catch the cankerworm.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
British Dictionary definitions for cankerworm


the larva of either of two geometrid moths, Paleacrita vernata or Alsophila pometaria, which feed on and destroy fruit and shade trees in North America
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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