Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. Any of various invertebrates, especially an annelid, flatworm, nematode, or nemertean, having a long, flexible, rounded or flattened body, often without obvious appendages.
2. Any of various crawling insect larvae, such as a grub or a caterpillar, having a soft elongated body.
3. Any of various other animals, such as a shipworm or a slowworm, having a long slender limbless body.
a. Something, such as the thread of a screw or the spiral condenser in a still, that resembles a worm in form or appearance.
b. The spirally threaded shaft of a worm gear.
5. An insidiously tormenting or devouring force: "felt the black worm of treachery growing in his heart" (Mario Puzo).
6. A person regarded as pitiable or contemptible.
7. worms Medicine Infestation of the intestines or other parts of the body with parasitic worms; helminthiasis.
8. Computers A malicious program that replicates itself until it fills all of the storage space on a drive or network.
v. wormed, worm·ing, worms
v. tr.
1. To make (one's way) with the sinuous crawling motion of a worm.
2. To work (one's way or oneself) subtly or gradually; insinuate: She wormed her way into his confidence.
3. To elicit by artful or devious means. Usually used with out of: wormed a confession out of the suspect.
4. To treat for intestinal worms: wormed the dog.
5. Nautical To wrap yarn or twine spirally around (rope).
v. intr.
1. To move in a manner suggestive of a worm.
2. To make one's way by artful or devious means: He can't worm out of this situation.

[Middle English, from Old English wurm, variant of wyrm; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]


Computers write once, read many
References in classic literature ?
She came to this house to entreat my husband's interference, and before I could be aware of it, everything that you could wish to be concealed was known to him, and unluckily she had wormed out of Mainwaring's servant that he had visited you every day since your being in town, and had just watched him to your door herself
Under an assumed name I have wormed myself into its service for revenge; and as there is a heaven above us, I will have its heart's blood