Get the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary app Find out more about Oxford American Dictionaries for learners of English Get an Oxford Advanced American Dictionary searchbox for your website Ask Text Checker

Definition of worm noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


/wərm/ worm pronunciation American
1 [countable] a long, thin creature with no bones or legs, that lives in soilbirds looking for worms see also earthworm, lugworm2 worms [plural] long, thin creatures that live inside the bodies of humans or animals and can cause illnessThe dog has worms. see also hookworm, tapeworm3 [countable] the young form of an insect when it looks like a short wormThis apple is full of worms. see also glowworm, silkworm, woodworm4 [countable] (computing) a computer program that is a type of virus and that spreads across a network by copying itself5 [countable, usually singular] (informal, disapproving) a person you do not like or respect, especially because they have a weak character and do not behave well toward other peopleIDIOMS

a can of worms

(informal) if you open up a can of worms, you start doing something that will cause a lot of problems and be very difficulta can of worms

the early bird catches the worm

(saying) a person who takes the opportunity to do something before other people will have an advantage over themthe early bird catches the worm

the worm will turn

(saying) a person who is normally quiet and does not complain will protest when the situation becomes too hard to bearthe worm will turn