Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various terrestrial annelid worms of the class Oligochaeta, especially those of the family Lumbricidae, that burrow into and help aerate and enrich soil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A worm that lives in the ground; a worm of Lumbricidae family, or, more generally, of Lumbricina suborder.
  • n. this sense?) (derogatory) A person, particularly one who grovels.
  • n. Death.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any worm of the genus Lumbricus and allied genera, found in damp soil. One of the largest and most abundant species in Europe and America is L. terrestris; many others are known; -- called also angleworm and dewworm.
  • n. A mean, sordid person; a niggard.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The common name of the worms of the family Lumbricidæ (which see), and especially of the genus Lumbricus, of which there are several species, one of the best-known being L. terrestris.
  • n. Figuratively, a mean, sordid wretch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. terrestrial worm that burrows into and helps aerate soil; often surfaces when the ground is cool or wet; used as bait by anglers

Etymologies

From earth +‎ worm. Compare German Erdwurm. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I have selected an unfortunate earthworm from the backyard and will be giving it to the planarian soon.

    Bipalium adventitium

  • My Ph.D. thesis concerned the metabolic mechanism by which the end product of nitrogen metabolism in the earthworm is switched from ammonia to urea during starvation.

    Stanley Cohen - Autobiography

  • As far as a nine foot long earthworm, that isn't the scariest earthworm.

    Women have more nightmares.

  • Such apparent exceptions as earthworms, centipedes, and snakes are not difficult to explain, for the earthworm is a burrower which eats its way through the soil, the centipede's long body is supported by numerous hard legs, and the snake pushes itself along by means of the large ventral scales to which the lower ends of very numerous ribs are attached.

    The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4) A Plain Story Simply Told

  • As logically we might say: 'All birds are bilaterally symmetrical; the earthworm is bilaterally symmetrical; therefore the earthworm is a bird.'

    Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why What Medical Writers Say

  • [[File: Eat earthworm. jpg | thumb | 250px | left | The earthworm is a meal.]]

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • Likening him to an "earthworm", the MIC Youth adviser said the Penaga assemblyman was both deaf and blind.

    SARA - Southeast Asian RSS Aggregator

  • In the absence of soil inversion, soil organic carbon levels increased and soil biology, such as earthworm levels increased, he said.

    FWi - All News

  • "Even the Oregon giant earthworm, which is clearly very rare, has a mix of habitat and little pockets of things here and there -- that species has a much better chance.

    Boise Weekly

  • The bird probably had succumbed to cold and starvation; the closest earthworm (actually, the closest earth) being in a small park almost a mile away.

    The Woodcock of Broadway: Part II

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