[ ship-wurm ]

  1. any of various wormlike marine bivalve mollusks that burrow into the timbers of ship, wharves, etc.

Origin of shipworm

First recorded in 1770–80; ship1 + worm

Words Nearby shipworm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shipworm in a sentence

  • The teredo or shipworm was a serious peril in the days before the sheathing of ships.

British Dictionary definitions for shipworm


/ (ˈʃɪpˌwɜːm) /

  1. any wormlike marine bivalve mollusc of the genus Teredo and related genera and family Teredinidae. They bore into wooden piers, ships, etc, by means of drill-like shell valves: See also piddock

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