earthworm

[ urth-wurm ]
/ ˈɜrθˌwɜrm /

noun

any one of numerous annelid worms that burrow in soil and feed on soil nutrients and decaying organic matter.
Archaic. a mean or groveling person.

Origin of earthworm

First recorded in 1400–50, earthworm is from the late Middle English word ertheworm. See earth, worm

Regional variation note

The earthworm, a commonly used bait for angling, is also called an angleworm in the Northern U.S. and a fishworm in the Northern and Midland U.S. and in New England. It is called a fishing worm in parts of the Midland and Southern U.S., and a wiggler in the Southern U.S.
Because the worm often comes to the surface of the earth when the ground is cool or wet, it is also called a nightwalker in New England, a nightcrawler, chiefly in the Northern, North Midland, and Western U.S., and a dew worm, chiefly in the Inland North and Canada. It is also called a red worm in the North Central, South Midland, and Southern U.S.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for earthworm

British Dictionary definitions for earthworm

earthworm

/ (ˈɜːθˌwɜːm) /

noun

any of numerous oligochaete worms of the genera Lumbricus, Allolobophora, Eisenia, etc, which burrow in the soil and help aerate and break up the groundRelated adjective: lumbricoid
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