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[boo k-wurm] /ˈbʊkˌwɜrm/
a person devoted to reading or studying.
any of various insects that feed on books, especially a booklouse.
Origin of bookworm
1590-1600; book + worm Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bookworm
Historical Examples
  • But rather than be a deer or a frog or a bookworm, I want to be your best friend.

  • The bookworm's an uninteresting grub, Whether he's all alone or in a club.

    A Phenomenal Fauna Carolyn Wells
  • The bookworm lost his restlessness at night entirely here, and no longer read strange books in his sleep.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • For the rest, he was a bookworm and revelled in intellectual pursuits.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • I was a bookworm then, but when I came to know it, I woke among the butterflies.

    Lilith George MacDonald
  • I became too mere a bookworm in India, and on my voyage home.

    Macaulay's Life of Samuel Johnson Thomas Babington Macaulay
  • Did Solomon or somebody affirm The early reed-bird catches the bookworm?

    A Phenomenal Fauna Carolyn Wells
  • I do little in these gloomy days but read—am becoming quite a bookworm.

    The Whirlpool George Gissing
  • The old man never recovered power of speech while we were with him, and he shook hands with the bookworm and me automatically.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • From this it appears that Graetz was not a recluse nor a bookworm.

British Dictionary definitions for bookworm


a person excessively devoted to studying or reading
any of various small insects that feed on the binding paste of books, esp the book louse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bookworm

1590s (of people), 1855 of insects or maggots; there is no single species known by this name, which is applied to the anolium beetle, silverfishes, and book lice. See book (n.) + worm (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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