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

  • adj. Bored through or gnawed by worms.
  • adj. Decayed; rotten.
  • adj. Antiquated; decrepit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Eaten by worms, especially having a worm inside.
  • adj. Rotten or decrepit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Eaten, or eaten into, by a worm or by worms.
  • adj. Worn-out; old; worthless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Eaten into by a worm; gnawed, bored, or perforated by worms of any kind; abounding in wormholes; wormy: as, worm-eaten timber, fabrics, fruit.
  • Old, worn-out, or worthless, as if eaten by worms.

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

  • adj. infested with or damaged (as if eaten) by worms


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The third worm-eaten plank is Obama's undivided support of the American labor unions.

    The President's Four Rotten Policy Planks

  • Aura looks out her window for a sign of her brother but sees only a caterpillar inching its way along the worm-eaten frame.

    The Lady Matador’s Hotel

  • When he hits the boards, they're so worm-eaten that they break and he keeps going down into the basement.

    Making Light: Open thread 137

  • Since I'm looking for something dimensional and realistic, involving flora and fauna (basically, if it works out, I might eventually wind up with a partial sleeve of leaf litter and tiny animals -- newts and spiders and snails and daddy longlegses and toads and so forth -- but I'm starting off with a slightly worm-eaten maple leaf and a curious spider on my left wrist) I wanted somebody whose style was sort of Audobon-esque.

    I have updated my lj theme.

  • I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself -- such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable.

    Nira meets Fala

  • Catherine held the mask up so that Park could get a better look at its worm-eaten features, previously seen in close-up on the infamous zombie sex tape.

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Shock Treatment

  • In the centre of this room there was an upright beam, which had been placed at some period as a support for the old, worm-eaten balk of timber which spanned the roof.

    The Seriously Deranged Writer and the Model Cars

  • The boards round and the panelling of the walls were of brown, worm-eaten oak, so old and discoloured that it may have dated from the original building of the house.

    Sole Music

  • The costs of operation, maintenance, capital improvements and repair costs of these antiquated worm-eaten facilities, if properly assessed, would make them far more expensive to run than natural gas plants.

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: King Coal

  • Your Feithian gimmick of aggregating the middle choice ( "About right") with your preferred response ( "Not far enough") renders one of those worm-eaten.

    Memo To Media: Public Supports Dems' Confronting Of White House


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