the larva of the Chinese silkworm moth, Bombyx mori, which spins a cocoon of commercially valuable silk.
the larva of any of several moths of the family Saturniidae, which spins a silken cocoon.

Origin of silkworm

before 1000; Middle English sylkewyrme, Old English seolcwyrm. See silk, worm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for silkworm

Contemporary Examples of silkworm

Historical Examples of silkworm

  • She had a face like a silkworm, and the dining-room reeks of orris-root.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • That's what the silkworm does—only it does it several times over.

    The Story of Silk

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • "But I thought the silkworm scarcely moved," objected Marie.

    The Story of Silk

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • Then send to a reliable dealer for a quarter of an ounce of silkworm eggs.

    Makers of Many Things

    Eva March Tappan

  • Gut is the product of the silkworm, and the best quality is imported from Spain.

British Dictionary definitions for silkworm



the larva of the Chinese moth Bombyx mori, that feeds on the leaves of the mulberry tree: widely cultivated as a source of silk
any of various similar or related larvae
silkworm moth the moth of any of these larvae
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 silkworm

Old English seolcwyrm; see silk + worm (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper