Definitions for: Worm


[n] any of numerous relatively small elongated soft-bodied animals especially of the phyla Annelida and Chaetognatha and Nematoda and Nemertea and Platyhelminthes; also many insect larvae
[n] screw thread on a gear with the teeth of a worm wheel or rack
[n] has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect
[v] to move in a twisting or contorted motion, (esp. when struggling); "The prisoner writhed in discomfort."; "The child tried to wriggle free from his aunt's embrace."
[v] move with slow, sinuous movements



Webster (1913) Definition: Worm (w[^u]rm), n. [OE. worm, wurm, AS. wyrm; akin to D.
worm, OS. & G. wurm, Icel. ormr, Sw. & Dan. orm, Goth.
wa['u]rms, L. vermis, Gr. ? a wood worm. Cf. Vermicelli,
Vermilion, Vermin.]
1. A creeping or a crawling animal of any kind or size, as a
serpent, caterpillar, snail, or the like. [Archaic]

There came a viper out of the heat, and leapt on his
hand. When the men of the country saw the worm hang
on his hand, they said, This man must needs be a
murderer. --Tyndale
(Acts xxviii.
3, 4).

'T is slander, Whose edge is sharper than the sword,
whose tongue Outvenoms all the worms of Nile.
--Shak.

When Cerberus perceived us, the great worm, His
mouth he opened and displayed his tusks.
--Longfellow.

2. Any small creeping animal or reptile, either entirely
without feet, or with very short ones, including a great
variety of animals; as, an earthworm; the blindworm.
Specifically: (Zo["o]l.)
(a) Any helminth; an entozo["o]n.
(b) Any annelid.
(c) An insect larva.
(d) pl. Same as Vermes.

3. An internal tormentor; something that gnaws or afflicts
one's mind with remorse.

The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
--Shak.

4. A being debased and despised.

I am a worm, and no man. --Ps. xxii. 6.

5. Anything spiral, vermiculated, or resembling a worm; as:
(a) The thread of a screw.

The threads of screws, when bigger than can be
made in screw plates, are called worms. --Moxon.
(b) A spiral instrument or screw, often like a double
corkscrew, used for drawing balls from firearms.
(c) (Anat.) A certain muscular band in the tongue of some
animals, as the dog; the lytta. See Lytta.
(d) The condensing tube of a still, often curved and wound
to economize space. See Illust. of Still.
(e) (Mach.) A short revolving screw, the threads of which
drive, or are driven by, a worm wheel by gearing into
its teeth or cogs. See Illust. of Worm gearing,
below.

Worm abscess (Med.), an abscess produced by the irritation
resulting from the lodgment of a worm in some part of the
body.

Worm fence. See under Fence.

Worm gear. (Mach.)
(a) A worm wheel.
(b) Worm gearing.

Worm gearing, gearing consisting of a worm and worm wheel
working together.

Worm grass. (Bot.)
(a) See Pinkroot, 2
(a) .
(b) The white stonecrop (Sedum album) reputed to have
qualities as a vermifuge. --Dr. Prior.

Worm oil (Med.), an anthelmintic consisting of oil obtained
from the seeds of Chenopodium anthelminticum.

Worm powder (Med.), an anthelmintic powder.

Worm snake. (Zo["o]l.) See Thunder snake
(b), under Thunder.

Worm tea (Med.), an anthelmintic tea or tisane.

Worm tincture (Med.), a tincture prepared from dried
earthworms, oil of tartar, spirit of wine, etc. [Obs.]

Worm wheel, a cogwheel having teeth formed to fit into the
spiral spaces of a screw called a worm, so that the wheel
may be turned by, or may turn, the worm; -- called also
worm gear, and sometimes tangent wheel. See Illust. of
Worm gearing, above.


Worm, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wormed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Worming.]
To work slowly, gradually, and secretly.

When debates and fretting jealousy Did worm and work
within you more and more, Your color faded. --Herbert.


Worm, v. t.
1. To effect, remove, drive, draw, or the like, by slow and
secret means; -- often followed by out.

They find themselves wormed out of all power.
--Swift.

They . . . wormed things out of me that I had no
desire to tell. --Dickens.

2. To clean by means of a worm; to draw a wad or cartridge
from, as a firearm. See Worm, n. 5
(b) .

3. To cut the worm, or lytta, from under the tongue of, as a
dog, for the purpose of checking a disposition to gnaw.
The operation was formerly supposed to guard against
canine madness.

The men assisted the laird in his sporting parties,
wormed his dogs, and cut the ears of his terrier
puppies. --Sir W.
Scott.

4. (Naut.) To wind rope, yarn, or other material, spirally
round, between the strands of, as a cable; to wind with
spun yarn, as a small rope.

Ropes . . . are generally wormed before they are
served. --Totten.



To worm one's self into, to enter into gradually by arts
and insinuations; as, to worm one's self into favor.

Synonyms: dirt ball, insect, louse, squirm, twist, wreathe, wrestle, wriggle, writhe

See Also: acanthocephalan, annelid, annelid worm, arrowworm, beard worm, chaetognath, disagreeable person, flatworm, helminth, invertebrate, move, nematode, nematode worm, nemertean, nemertine, parasitic worm, platyhelminth, pogonophoran, proboscis worm, ribbon worm, roundworm, screw, segmented worm, spiny-headed worm, unpleasant person, woodworm, worm gear, wrench

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