[boo k-wurm]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bookworm

savant, scholar, intellectual, reader, bibliophile

Examples from the Web for bookworm

Historical Examples of bookworm

  • 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

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

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