- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.] [1913 Webster] 1. A creeping or a crawling animal of any kind or size, as a serpent, caterpillar, snail, or the like. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] 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). [1913 Webster] 'T is slander, Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue Outvenoms all the worms of Nile. --Shak. [1913 Webster] When Cerberus perceived us, the great worm, His mouth he opened and displayed his tusks. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 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: (Zool.) (a) Any helminth; an entozoon. (b) Any annelid. (c) An insect larva. (d) pl. Same as Vermes. [1913 Webster] 3. An internal tormentor; something that gnaws or afflicts one's mind with remorse. [1913 Webster] The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul! --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. A being debased and despised. [1913 Webster] I am a worm, and no man. --Ps. xxii. 6. [1913 Webster] 5. Anything spiral, vermiculated, or resembling a worm; as: (a) The thread of a screw. [1913 Webster] The threads of screws, when bigger than can be made in screw plates, are called worms. --Moxon. [1913 Webster] (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. [1913 Webster] 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. (Zool.) 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. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]