• synonyms


  1. any burrowing annelid of the genus Arenicola, of ocean shores, having tufted gills: used as bait for fishing.
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Origin of lugworm

First recorded in 1795–1805; lug4 + worm
Also called lug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lugworm

Historical Examples of lugworm

  • Commonly known as "lugworm," and used by fishermen for bait.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • Lugworm, lug′wurm, n. a sluggish worm found in the sand on the sea-shore, much used for bait by fishermen.

British Dictionary definitions for lugworm


  1. any polychaete worm of the genus Arenicola, living in burrows on sandy shores and having tufted gills: much used as bait by fishermenSometimes shortened to: lug Also called: lobworm
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Word Origin for lugworm

C17: of uncertain origin
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 lugworm


c.1600, from lug, probably a Celtic word (the first recorded use is in a Cornwall context) unrelated to lug (n.) or lug (v.) + worm. But OED suggests connection with lug (v.) on the notion of "heavy, clumsy."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper