verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of worm
Related Words for wormsgrub, rascal, maggot, slither, crawl, slink, evade, ambush, slip, hide, steal, smuggle, creep, flounder, writhe, finagle, cajole, squirm, sneak, zigzag
Examples from the Web for worms
Contemporary Examples of worms
The NPS also believes in roads and tourist viewing; like most government institutions, it is a can of worms.American Wilderness Faces the Firing Squad
July 6, 2014
Worms and amphipods, along with other animals, use or bury the pellets, which Havens observed after preliminary experiments.Your Favorite Facewash Is Hurting Nemo
Alexa C. Kurzius
June 18, 2014
Ron Paul thinks getting rid of courts just because they issue unpopular rulings is "opening up a can of worms."Fox News GOP Debate in Iowa: Live Updates
December 16, 2011
Historical Examples of worms
Robert went out into the garden, and dug some worms for bait.Brave and Bold
A statesman who shakes the fruit trees of his neighbors —to dislodge the worms.The Devil's Dictionary
"I'm going fishing," declared Bart, as he dug some worms and put them in a can.Frank Roscoe's Secret
These worms crept into the nostrils of the cup-bearers so that they all fell asleep.
Within the circle of their light the poison of serpents and worms is powerless.
Word Origin for worm
n acronym for computing
Old English wurm, variant of wyrm "serpent, dragon," also in later Old English "earthworm," from Proto-Germanic *wurmiz (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German, German wurm, Old Frisian and Dutch worm, Old Norse ormr, Gothic waurms "serpent, worm"), from PIE *wrmi-/*wrmo- "worm" (cf. Greek rhomos, Latin vermis "worm," Old Russian vermie "insects," Lithuanian varmas "insect, gnat"), possibly from root *wer- (3) "turn" (see versus).
The ancient category of these was much more extensive than the modern, scientific, one and included serpents, scorpions, maggots, and the supposed causes of certain diseases. For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come. As an insult meaning "abject, miserable person" it dates from Old English.
"to move like a worm," c.1600, from worm (n.). In figurative senses attested from 1620s, suggesting patient, sinuous progress. Related: Wormed; worming.
A Closer Look: Earthworms are one of many types of worms, including those of the flat and round species. Over a century ago, Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms and wrote The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms with Observations on Their Habits, an entire book that described his research on earthworm behavior and intelligence and further explained how important earthworms are to agriculture. Long before [the plow] existed, he wrote, the land was, in fact, regularly plowed and still continues to be thus plowed by earthworms. It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world. Darwin was referring to the way that earthworms naturally mix and till soil, while both improving its structure and increasing its nutrients. As they tunnel in the soil, earthworms open channels that allow in air and water, improving drainage and easing the way for plants to send down roots; they also carry nutrients from deep soils to the surface. Earthworms eat plant material in the soil, decaying leaves, and leaf litter, and their own waste provides nourishment for plants and other organisms. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen, an important plant nutrient. It is estimated that each year earthworms in one acre of land move 18 or more tons of soil.
In addition to the idioms beginning with worm
- worm into
- worm out of
- worm turns, the
- can of worms
- early bird catches the worm