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spring cankerworm

noun
  1. See under cankerworm.
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Origin of spring cankerworm

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90

cankerworm

[kang-ker-wurm]
noun
  1. the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths: a foliage pest of various fruit and shade trees, as Paleacrita vernata (spring cankerworm) and Alsophila pometaria (fall cankerworm).
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Origin of cankerworm

First recorded in 1520–30; canker + worm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for spring cankerworm

cankerworm

noun
  1. the larva of either of two geometrid moths, Paleacrita vernata or Alsophila pometaria, which feed on and destroy fruit and shade trees in North America
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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