1. gear consisting of a shaft with screw thread (the worm) that meshes with a toothed wheel (the worm wheel)
; changes the direction of the axis of rotary motion
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Worm \Worm\ (w[^u]rm), n. [OE. worm, wurm, AS. wyrm; akin to D.
worm, OS. & G. wurm, Icel. ormr, Sw. & Dan. orm, Goth.
wa['u]rms, L. vermis, Gr. ? a wood worm. Cf. Vermicelli,
1. A creeping or a crawling animal of any kind or size, as a
serpent, caterpillar, snail, or the like. [Archaic]
There came a viper out of the heat, and leapt on his
hand. When the men of the country saw the worm hang
on his hand, they said, This man must needs be a
'T is slander,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile. --Shak.
When Cerberus perceived us, the great worm,
His mouth he opened and displayed his tusks.
2. Any small creeping animal or reptile, either entirely
without feet, or with very short ones, including a great
variety of animals; as, an earthworm; the blindworm.
(a) Any helminth; an entozoon.
(b) Any annelid.
(c) An insect larva.
(d) pl. Same as Vermes.
3. An internal tormentor; something that gnaws or afflicts
one's mind with remorse.
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
4. A being debased and despised.
I am a worm, and no man. --Ps. xxii. 6.
5. Anything spiral, vermiculated, or resembling a worm; as:
(a) The thread of a screw.
The threads of screws, when bigger than can be
made in screw plates, are called worms. --Moxon.
(b) A spiral instrument or screw, often like a double
corkscrew, used for drawing balls from firearms.
(c) (Anat.) A certain muscular band in the tongue of some
animals, as the dog; the lytta. See Lytta.
(d) The condensing tube of a still, often curved and wound
to economize space. See Illust. of Still.
(e) (Mach.) A short revolving screw, the threads of which
drive, or are driven by, a worm wheel by gearing into
its teeth or cogs. See Illust. of Worm gearing,
Worm abscess (Med.), an abscess produced by the irritation
resulting from the lodgment of a worm in some part of the
Worm fence. See under Fence.
Worm gear. (Mach.)
(a) A worm wheel.
(b) Worm gearing.
Worm gearing, gearing consisting of a worm and worm wheel
Worm grass. (Bot.)
(a) See Pinkroot, 2
(b) The white stonecrop (Sedum album) reputed to have
qualities as a vermifuge. --Dr. Prior.
Worm oil (Med.), an anthelmintic consisting of oil obtained
from the seeds of Chenopodium anthelminticum.
Worm powder (Med.), an anthelmintic powder.
Worm snake. (Zool.) See Thunder snake
(b), under Thunder.
Worm tea (Med.), an anthelmintic tea or tisane.
Worm tincture (Med.), a tincture prepared from dried
earthworms, oil of tartar, spirit of wine, etc. [Obs.]
Worm wheel, a cogwheel having teeth formed to fit into the
spiral spaces of a screw called a worm, so that the wheel
may be turned by, or may turn, the worm; -- called also
worm gear, and sometimes tangent wheel. See Illust. of
Worm gearing, above.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: gear consisting of a shaft with screw thread (the worm)
that meshes with a toothed wheel (the worm wheel); changes
the direction of the axis of rotary motion