Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To adorn or decorate with wavy or winding lines.
  • adj. Bearing wavy, wormlike lines.
  • adj. Having a wormlike motion; twisting or wriggling.
  • adj. Sinuous; tortuous.
  • adj. Infested with worms; worm-eaten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to decorate with lines resembling the tracks of worms
  • adj. Like a worm; resembling a worm.
  • adj. Vermiculated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To form or work, as by inlaying, with irregular lines or impressions resembling the tracks of worms, or appearing as if formed by the motion of worms.
  • adj. Wormlike in shape; covered with wormlike elevations; marked with irregular fine lines of color, or with irregular wavy impressed lines like worm tracks.
  • adj. Crawling or creeping like a worm; hence, insinuating; sophistical.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become full of worms; be eaten by worms.
  • To ornament with winding and waving lines, as if caused by the movement of worms.
  • In zoöl.: Forming a vermiculation; fine, close-set, and wavy or tortuous, as color-marks; vermicular: as, vermiculate color-markings.
  • In entomology: Marked with tortuous impressions, as if worm-eaten, as the elytra of certain beetles; vermiculated. Having thick-set tufts of parallel hairs.
  • Full of worms; infested with worms; worm-eaten.

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

  • adj. infested with or damaged (as if eaten) by worms
  • v. decorate with wavy or winding lines
  • adj. decorated with wormlike tracery or markings

Etymologies

Latin vermiculārī, vermiculāt-, from vermiculus, diminutive of vermis, worm; see vermicular.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin vermiculatus ("inlaid in wavy lines"), past participle of vermiculor ("to be full of worms or worm-eaten"), from vermiculus ("little worm") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming.

    Entropic Realism and ‘The Road’ « Gerry Canavan

  • Max Baucus's Medicare coverage for people exposed to asbestos in a vermiculate mine in Libby, Montana;

    Etch-a-Sketch: Name that giveaway

  • Surely, like as many substances in nature which are solid do putrefy and corrupt into worms; — so it is the property of good and sound knowledge to putrefy and dissolve into a number of subtle, idle, unwholesome, and (as I may term them) vermiculate questions, which have indeed a kind of quickness and life of spirit, but no soundness of matter or goodness of quality.

    The Advancement of Learning

  • MacMurrough leant at his shoulder to over-read, piecing together with difficulty the vermiculate letters.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • My life seemed only a vermiculate one, a crawling about of half-thoughts-half-feelings through the corpse of a decaying existence.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

  • That love should be capable of ending in such vermiculate results as too often appear, is no more against the loveliness of the divine idea, than that the forms of man and woman, the spirit gone from them, should degenerate to such things as may not be looked upon.

    Malcolm

  • Religion itself in the hearts of the unreal, is a dead thing; what seems life in it, is the vermiculate life of a corpse.

    Hope of the Gospel

  • It is the property of good and sound knowledge, to putrifie and dissolve into a number of subtle, idle, unwholesome, and (as I may tearme them) vermiculate questions; which have indeed a kinde of quicknesse, and life of spirite, but no soundnesse of matter, or goodnesse of quality.

    David Elginbrod

  • What a breeding nest of vermiculate cares and pains was this human heart of ours!

    Thomas Wingfold, Curate V2

  • And to leave her would be to quarrel, and start a thousand vermiculate questions, as Lord Bacon calls them, for which life is too serious in my eyes.

    Robert Falconer

Comments

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  • I have never used this word before - but I intend to today!

    April 19, 2007

  • also vermicular or vermiculated

    April 19, 2007