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

  • n. Any of various wormlike marine mollusks of the genera Teredo and Bankia, having rudimentary bivalve shells with which they bore into wood, especially the submerged timbers of ships and wharves, often doing extensive damage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several wormlike marine mollusks (not true worms) of the family Teredinidae, that bore through the wooden hulls of ships and other woody material entering the sea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any long, slender, worm-shaped bivalve mollusk of Teredo and allied genera. The shipworms burrow in wood, and are destructive to wooden ships, piles of wharves, etc. See teredo.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bivalve mollusk of the genus Teredo, especially T. navalis, which bores into and destroys the timber of ships, piles, and other submerged woodwork; a ship-borer. It has very long united siphons, and thus looks like a worm. See Tere dinidæ and Teredo.

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

  • n. wormlike marine bivalve that bores into wooden piers and ships by means of drill-like shells


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • De la Roquette in the French translation gives _bruma_ the meaning of "shipworm," supposing it to be a variant form of _broma_.

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  • Thanks to Revere Copper, we were able to make the copper sheathing for the bottoms of our naval vessels that protected their wooden hulls from being devoured by shipworm.

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  • He did, however, have a hand in another then-modern innovation: copper-hulled ships, which the Royal Navy first used in 1761 to guard against shipworm.

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  • For both plants and the shipworm, they can take inert, non-active carbon and nitrogen in the air and create building blocks.

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  • Hazel-rah, Rick - One of the things Cochrane's father invented was apparently a coal-tar covering for ship's hulls to prevent shipworm, but the Admiralty wouldn't take it up because the shipyard contractors liked the regular income from repairing ships - "the worm is our friend", as one of them told Cochrane's father.

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  • A shipworm infestation claimed his ship, Vizcaina, leaving Columbus to struggle through his last expedition to the New World, which ultimately ended with three of his four ships sinking.

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  • His boots trod again a damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost


  • Here was proof that the Lord uses the tiniest of creatures to carry out His will because it was in this strange land, on my previous crossing, farther than any has gone before, that the ships of my High Voyage came apart from the depredations of the toredo, the shipworm.


  • Tunnel from the tiny shipworm: he saw how the little creature perforated the wood with its well-armed head, first in one direction and then in another, till the archway was complete, and then daubed over the roof and sides with a kind of varnish; and by copying this work exactly on a large scale, Brunel was at length enabled to construct his shield and accomplish his great engineering work.

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