(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)   Screw thread on a gear with the teeth of a worm wheel or rack
(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)   A person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect


(5)   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"


From , from , from , from possibly from ; Compare Latin /, French . First computer usage by John Brunner in his 1975 book The Shockwave Rider.


  1. A generally tubular invertebrate of the annelid phylum.
  2. A contemptible or devious being.
    Don't try to run away, you little worm!
  3. A self-replicating program that propagates widely through a network.
  4. A graphical representation of the total runs scored in an innings.
  5. Anything helical, especially the thread of a screw.
  6. A dragon or mythological serpent.
  7. An internal tormentor; something that gnaws or afflicts one's mind with remorse.
    The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!Richard III, William Shakespeare


  1. To move with one's body dragging the ground.
    We wormed our way through the underbrush.
  2. To get (into) in a devious way.
    He wormed his way into the organization
    To work through something slowly or gradually.
  3. To fill in the contlines of a rope before parcelling and serving.
    Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.
  4. To deworm an animal.

See also