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inchworm

[inch-wurm]
noun
  1. measuringworm.
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Origin of inchworm

First recorded in 1860–65; inch1 + worm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inchworm

Historical Examples

  • Like an inchworm it doubles itself up at intervals and then gradually stretches itself straight again.

    The World of H.G. Wells

    Van Wyck Brooks


British Dictionary definitions for inchworm

inchworm

noun
  1. another name for a measuring worm
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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 inchworm

n.

1844, American English, from inch (v.) + worm (n.). Other old names for it included loaper caterpiller and surveyor, all from its mode of progress.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper