worm gear

or worm·gear

noun
  1. a mechanism consisting of a worm engaging with and driving a worm wheel, the two axes usually being at right angles, used where a relatively low speed and a relatively large amplification of power are desired.
  2. Also called worm wheel. a gear wheel driven by a worm.

Origin of worm gear

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for worm gear

worm gear

noun
  1. a device consisting of a threaded shaft (worm) that mates with a gearwheel (worm wheel) so that rotary motion can be transferred between two shafts at right angles to each other
  2. Also called: worm wheel a gearwheel driven by a threaded shaft or worm
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