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WORM
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abbr.
Computers write once, read many

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
worm (wûrm)
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n.
1. Any of various invertebrates, especially an annelid, flatworm, nematode, or nemertean, having a long, flexible, rounded or flattened body, often without obvious appendages.
2. Any of various crawling insect larvae, such as a grub or a caterpillar, having a soft elongated body.
3. Any of various other animals, such as a shipworm or a slowworm, having a long slender limbless body.
4.
a. Something, such as the thread of a screw or the spiral condenser in a still, that resembles a worm in form or appearance.
b. The spirally threaded shaft of a worm gear.
5. An insidiously tormenting or devouring force: “felt the black worm of treachery growing in his heart” (Mario Puzo).
6. A person regarded as pitiable or contemptible.
7. worms Medicine Infestation of the intestines or other parts of the body with parasitic worms; helminthiasis.
8. Computers A malicious program that replicates itself until it fills all of the storage space on a drive or network.
v. wormed, worm·ing, worms
v. tr.
1. To make (one's way) with the sinuous crawling motion of a worm.
2. To work (one's way or oneself) subtly or gradually; insinuate: She wormed her way into his confidence.
3. To elicit by artful or devious means. Usually used with out of: wormed a confession out of the suspect.
4. To treat for intestinal worms: wormed the dog.
5. Nautical To wrap yarn or twine spirally around (rope).
v. intr.
1. To move in a manner suggestive of a worm.
2. To make one's way by artful or devious means: He can't worm out of this situation.

[Middle English, from Old English wurm, variant of wyrm; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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