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Worm definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

WORM, n. [G. This word is probably named form a winding motion, and the root of swarm.]
1. In common usage, any small creeping animal, or reptile, either entirely without feet, or with very short ones, including a great variety of animals of different classes and orders, viz. Certain small serpents, as the blind-worm or slow-worm; the larvas of insects, viz. Grubs, caterpillars and maggots, as the wood-worm, canker-worm, silk-worm, (the larva of a moth (Phaloena,) which spins the filaments of which silk is made,) the grub that injures corn, grass, etc., the worms that breed in putrid flesh, the bots in the stomach of horses, and many others; certain wingless insects, as the glow-worm; the intestinal worms, or such as breed in the cavities and organs of living animals, as the tape-worm, the round-worm, the fluke, etc.; and numerous animals found in the earth, and in water, particularly in the sea, as the earth-worm or lumbricus, the hair-worm or gordius, the teredo, or worm that bores in to the bottom of ships, etc. Worms, in the plural, in common usage, is used for intestinal worms, or those which breed in the stomach and bowels, particularly the round and thread worms, (lumbrici and ascarides,) which are often found there in great numbers; as we say, a child has worms.
2. In zoology, the term Vermes or worms has been applied to different divisions of invertebral animals, by different naturalists. Linnes class of vermes, includes the following orders, viz. Intestina, including the proper intestinal worms the earth-worm, the hair-worm, the teredo, and some other marine worms; Mollusca, including the slug, and numerous soft animals inhabiting the water, particularly the sea; Testacea, including all the proper shell-fish; Zoophyta or compound animals, including corals, polypes, and spunges; and Infusoria, or simple microscopic animlacules. His character of the class is, --spiracles obscure, jaws various, organs of sense usually tentacula, no brain, ears nor nostrils, limbs wanting, frequently hermaphrodite. This class includes all the invertebral animals, except the insects and crustacea. The term Vermes has been since greatly limited, particularly by the French naturalists. Lamarch confined it to the intestinal worms, and some others, whose organization is equally imperfect. The character of his class is, suboviparous, body soft, highly reproductive, undergo no metamorphosis; no eyes, nor articulated limbs, nor radiated disposition of internal organs.
3. Remorse; that which incessantly gnaws the conscience; that which torments.
Where their worm dieth not. Mark 9.
4. A being debased and despised.
I am a worm, and no man. Psalms 22.
5. A spiral instrument or iron screw, used for drawing wads and cartridges from cannon or small arms.
6. Something spiral, vermiculated, or resembling a worm; as the threads of a screw.
7. In chemistry and distilleries, a spiral leaden pipe placed in a tub of water, through which the vapor passes in distillation, and in which it is cooled and condensed. It is called also a serpentine.
8. A small worm-like ligament situated beneath a dogs tongue.
WORM, v.i. To work slowly, gradually and secretly.
When debates and fretting jealousy did worm and work within you more and more, your color faded.
WORM, v.t.
1. To expel or undermine by slow and secret means.
They find themselves wormed out of all power.
2. To cut something, called a worm, from under the tongue of a dog.
3. To draw the wad or cartridge from a gun; to clean by the worm.
4. To wind a rope spirally round a cable, between the strands; or to wind a smaller rope with spun yarn.
To worm ones self into, to enter gradually by arts and insinuations; as to worm ones self into favor.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: 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
2: a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect [syn: worm, louse, insect, dirt ball]
3: a software program capable of reproducing itself that can spread from one computer to the next over a network; "worms take advantage of automatic file sending and receiving features found on many computers"
4: screw thread on a gear with the teeth of a worm wheel or rack v
1: to move in a twisting or contorted motion, (especially when struggling); "The prisoner writhed in discomfort"; "The child tried to wriggle free from his aunt's embrace" [syn: writhe, wrestle, wriggle, worm, squirm, twist]

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wyrm serpent, worm; akin to Old High German wurm serpent, worm, Latin vermis worm Date: before 12th century 1. a. earthworm; broadly an annelid worm b. any of numerous relatively small elongated usually naked and soft-bodied animals (as a grub, pinworm, tapeworm, shipworm, or slowworm) 2. a. a human being who is an object of contempt, loathing, or pity ; wretch b. something that torments or devours from within 3. archaic snake, serpent 4. helminthiasis usually used in plural 5. something (as a mechanical device) spiral or vermiculate in form or appearance: as a. the thread of a screw b. a short revolving screw whose threads gear with the teeth of a worm wheel or a rack c. Archimedes' screw; also a conveyor working on the principle of such a screw 6. a usually small self-contained and self-replicating computer program that invades computers on a network and usually performs a destructive action wormlike adjective II. verb Date: 1610 intransitive verb to move or proceed sinuously or insidiously transitive verb 1. a. to proceed or make (one's way) insidiously or deviously <worm their way into positions of power Bill Franzen> b. to insinuate or introduce (oneself) by devious or subtle means c. to cause to move or proceed in or as if in the manner of a worm 2. to wind rope or yarn spirally round and between the strands of (a cable or rope) before serving 3. to obtain or extract by artful or insidious questioning or by pleading, asking, or persuading usually used with out of <finally wormed the truth out of him> 4. to treat (an animal) with a drug to destroy or expel parasitic worms

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 any of various types of creeping or burrowing invertebrate animals with long slender bodies and no limbs, esp. segmented in rings or parasitic in the intestines or tissues. 2 the long slender larva of an insect, esp. in fruit or wood. 3 (in pl.) intestinal or other internal parasites. 4 a blindworm or slow-worm. 5 a maggot supposed to eat dead bodies in the grave. 6 an insignificant or contemptible person. 7 a the spiral part of a screw. b a short screw working in a worm-gear. 8 the spiral pipe of a still in which the vapour is cooled and condensed. 9 the ligament under a dog's tongue. --v. 1 intr. & tr. (often refl.) move with a crawling motion (wormed through the bushes; wormed our way through the bushes). 2 intr. & refl. (foll. by into) insinuate oneself into a person's favour, confidence, etc. 3 tr. (foll. by out) obtain (a secret etc.) by cunning persistence (managed to worm the truth out of them). 4 tr. cut the worm of (a dog's tongue). 5 tr. rid (a plant or dog etc.) of worms. 6 tr. Naut. make (a rope etc.) smooth by winding thread between the strands. Phrases and idioms: food for worms a dead person. worm-cast a convoluted mass of earth left on the surface by a burrowing earthworm. worm-fishing fishing with worms for bait. worm-gear an arrangement of a toothed wheel worked by a revolving spiral. worm-hole a hole left by the passage of a worm. worm-seed 1 seed used to expel intestinal worms. 2 a plant e.g. santonica bearing this seed. worm's-eye view a view as seen from below or from a humble position. worm-wheel the wheel of a worm-gear. a (or even a) worm will turn the meekest will resist or retaliate if pushed too far. Derivatives: wormer n. wormlike adj. Etymology: OE wyrm f. Gmc

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Worm 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.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Worm 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.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Worm 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.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Screw Screw (skr[udd]), n. [OE. scrue, OF. escroue, escroe, female screw, F. ['e]crou, L. scrobis a ditch, trench, in LL., the hole made by swine in rooting; cf. D. schroef a screw, G. schraube, Icel. skr[=u]fa.] 1. A cylinder, or a cylindrical perforation, having a continuous rib, called the thread, winding round it spirally at a constant inclination, so as to leave a continuous spiral groove between one turn and the next, -- used chiefly for producing, when revolved, motion or pressure in the direction of its axis, by the sliding of the threads of the cylinder in the grooves between the threads of the perforation adapted to it, the former being distinguished as the external, or male screw, or, more usually the screw; the latter as the internal, or female screw, or, more usually, the nut. Note: The screw, as a mechanical power, is a modification of the inclined plane, and may be regarded as a right-angled triangle wrapped round a cylinder, the hypotenuse of the marking the spiral thread of the screw, its base equaling the circumference of the cylinder, and its height the pitch of the thread. 2. Specifically, a kind of nail with a spiral thread and a head with a nick to receive the end of the screw-driver. Screws are much used to hold together pieces of wood or to fasten something; -- called also wood screws, and screw nails. See also Screw bolt, below. 3. Anything shaped or acting like a screw; esp., a form of wheel for propelling steam vessels. It is placed at the stern, and furnished with blades having helicoidal surfaces to act against the water in the manner of a screw. See Screw propeller, below. 4. A steam vesel propelled by a screw instead of wheels; a screw steamer; a propeller. 5. An extortioner; a sharp bargainer; a skinflint; a niggard. --Thackeray. 6. An instructor who examines with great or unnecessary severity; also, a searching or strict examination of a student by an instructor. [Cant, American Colleges] 7. A small packet of tobacco. [Slang] --Mayhew. 8. An unsound or worn-out horse, useful as a hack, and commonly of good appearance. --Ld. Lytton. 9. (Math.) A straight line in space with which a definite linear magnitude termed the pitch is associated (cf. 5th Pitch, 10 (b) ). It is used to express the displacement of a rigid body, which may always be made to consist of a rotation about an axis combined with a translation parallel to that axis. 10. (Zo["o]l.) An amphipod crustacean; as, the skeleton screw (Caprella). See Sand screw, under Sand. Archimedes screw, Compound screw, Foot screw, etc. See under Archimedes, Compound, Foot, etc. A screw loose, something out of order, so that work is not done smoothly; as, there is a screw loose somewhere. --H. Martineau. Endless, or perpetual, {screw, a screw used to give motion to a toothed wheel by the action of its threads between the teeth of the wheel; -- called also a worm. Lag screw. See under Lag. Micrometer screw, a screw with fine threads, used for the measurement of very small spaces. Right and left screw, a screw having threads upon the opposite ends which wind in opposite directions. Screw alley. See Shaft alley, under Shaft. Screw bean. (Bot.) (a) The curious spirally coiled pod of a leguminous tree ({Prosopis pubescens.html">screw.html">Endless, or perpetual, {screw, a screw used to give motion to a toothed wheel by the action of its threads between the teeth of the wheel; -- called also a worm. Lag screw. See under Lag. Micrometer screw, a screw with fine threads, used for the measurement of very small spaces. Right and left screw, a screw having threads upon the opposite ends which wind in opposite directions. Screw alley. See Shaft alley, under Shaft. Screw bean. (Bot.) (a) The curious spirally coiled pod of a leguminous tree ({Prosopis pubescens) growing from Texas to California. It is used for fodder, and ground into meal by the Indians. (b) The tree itself. Its heavy hard wood is used for fuel, for fencing, and for railroad ties. Screw bolt, a bolt having a screw thread on its shank, in distinction from a key bolt. See 1st Bolt, 3. Screw box, a device, resembling a die, for cutting the thread on a wooden screw. Screw dock. See under Dock. Screw engine, a marine engine for driving a screw propeller. Screw gear. See Spiral gear, under Spiral. Screw jack. Same as Jackscrew. Screw key, a wrench for turning a screw or nut; a spanner wrench. Screw machine. (a) One of a series of machines employed in the manufacture of wood screws. (b) A machine tool resembling a lathe, having a number of cutting tools that can be caused to act on the work successively, for making screws and other turned pieces from metal rods. Screw pine (Bot.), any plant of the endogenous genus Pandanus, of which there are about fifty species, natives of tropical lands from Africa to Polynesia; -- named from the spiral arrangement of the pineapple-like leaves. Screw plate, a device for cutting threads on small screws, consisting of a thin steel plate having a series of perforations with internal screws forming dies. Screw press, a press in which pressure is exerted by means of a screw. Screw propeller, a screw or spiral bladed wheel, used in the propulsion of steam vessels; also, a steam vessel propelled by a screw. Screw shell (Zo["o]l.), a long, slender, spiral gastropod shell, especially of the genus Turritella and allied genera. See Turritella. Screw steamer, a steamship propelled by a screw. Screw thread, the spiral rib which forms a screw. Screw stone (Paleon.), the fossil stem of an encrinite. Screw tree (Bot.), any plant of the genus Helicteres, consisting of about thirty species of tropical shrubs, with simple leaves and spirally twisted, five-celled capsules; -- also called twisted-horn, and twisty. Screw valve, a stop valve which is opened or closed by a screw. Screw worm (Zo["o]l.), the larva of an American fly (Compsomyia macellaria), allied to the blowflies, which sometimes deposits its eggs in the nostrils, or about wounds, in man and other animals, with fatal results. Screw wrench. (a) A wrench for turning a screw. (b) A wrench with an adjustable jaw that is moved by a screw. To put the screw, or screws, on, to use pressure upon, as for the purpose of extortion; to coerce. To put under the screw or screws, to subject to pressure; to force. Wood screw, a metal screw with a sharp thread of coarse pitch, adapted to holding fast in wood. See Illust. of Wood screw, under Wood.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(worms, worming, wormed) 1. A worm is a small animal with a long thin body, no bones and no legs. N-COUNT 2. If animals or people have worms, worms are living in their intestines. N-PLURAL 3. If you worm an animal, you give it medicine in order to kill the worms that are living in its intestines. I worm all my birds in early spring... All adult dogs are routinely wormed at least every six months. VERB: V n, be V-ed 4. If you say that someone is worming their way to success, or is worming their way into someone else's affection, you disapprove of the way that they are gradually making someone trust them or like them, often in order to deceive them or gain some advantage. She never misses a chance to worm her way into the public's hearts... VERB: V way prep/adv [disapproval] 5. A worm is a computer program that contains a virus which duplicates itself many times in a network. (COMPUTING) N-COUNT 6. If you say that someone is opening a can of worms, you are warning them that they are planning to do or talk about something which is much more complicated, unpleasant, or difficult than they realize and which might be better left alone. You've opened up a whole new can of worms here I think. We could have a whole debate on student loans and grants... PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(1.) Heb. sas (Isa. 51:8), denotes the caterpillar of the clothes-moth.

(2.) The manna bred worms (tola'im), but on the Sabbath there was not any worm (rimmah) therein (Ex. 16:20, 24). Here these words refer to caterpillars or larvae, which feed on corrupting matter.

These two Hebrew words appear to be interchangeable (Job 25:6; Isa. 14:11). Tola'im in some places denotes the caterpillar (Deut. 28:39; Jonah 4:7), and rimmah, the larvae, as bred from putridity (Job 17:14; 21:26; 24:20). In Micah 7:17, where it is said, "They shall move out of their holes like worms," perhaps serpents or "creeping things," or as in the Revised Version, "crawling things," are meant.

The word is used figuratively in Job 25:6; Ps. 22:6; Isa. 41:14; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Isa. 66:24.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

v. a. Work slowly, secretly, and gradually (like a worm), writhe, wriggle, crawl, creep.

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

To worm out; to obtain the knowledge of a secret by craft, also to undermine or supplant. He is gone to the diet of worms; he is dead and buried, or gone to Rothisbone.

Moby Thesaurus

amble, angleworm, animal, armyworm, beast, blast, blight, blighter, bollworm, bookworm, cancer, canker, claudicate, contort, corkscrew, cotton worm, crawl, creep, crinkle, cur, dog, dogtrot, drag, drag along, drag out, dry rot, earthworm, earworm, edge in, fireworm, fishworm, foist, fungus, go dead slow, go on tiptoe, go slow, grovel, gumshoe, helminth, hobble, hound, hyena, idle, inch, inch along, inchworm, infiltrate, insect, intort, jog-trot, laze, leech, limp, looper, lowlife, meander, measuring worm, mildew, mold, mongrel, mosey, moth, moth and rust, mucker, must, nematode, night crawler, nightwalk, nightwalker, no-good, pad, pest, pig, poke, poke along, polecat, prowl, pussyfoot, reptile, rot, rust, saunter, scallop, scrabble, scramble, screw, serpent, serpentine, shuffle along, sidle, silkworm, skunk, slink, smut, snake, sneak, squiggle, squirm, stagger along, steal, steal along, stroll, swine, swirl, tapeworm, tippytoe, tiptoe, toddle, toddle along, totter along, traipse, turn, tussah, twine, twirl, twist, twist and turn, varmint, vermin, viper, waddle, walk, webworm, whelp, whirl, whorl, wiggle, wind, wireworm, woodworm, work in, worm along, wring, writhe

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