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cankerworm

[kang-ker-wurm] /ˈkæŋ kərˌwɜrm/
noun
1.
the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths: a foliage pest of various fruit and shade trees, as Paleacrita vernata (spring cankerworm) and Alsophila pometaria (fall cankerworm)
Origin of cankerworm
1520-1530
1520-30; canker + worm
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cankerworm
Historical Examples
  • The cankerworm stood at his right hand, and of all his richest, most precious work, there remains only the shadow.

  • cankerworm, a worm which is very destructive to trees and plants.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy Catherine Esther Beecher
  • Sickness, like a cankerworm, was gnawing at her life, and dragging her towards the tomb.

    Poor Folk Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Then surely would the years eaten by the cankerworm be given back!

  • Paris society, I know for a fact; has many such a cankerworm in its heart.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • I want to see child-faces—even if they can be clouded by envy's cankerworm!

    Lucky Pehr August Strindberg
  • This gives a total of nearly twenty thousand cankerworm moth eggs destroyed by four birds in a few minutes.

    The Bird Study Book Thomas Gilbert Pearson
  • Raupenleim: a patented sticky substance used to catch the cankerworm.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • Nearly all the common birds feed freely upon the cankerworm, and benefit the orchard in so doing.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • O envy, root of all countless evils, and cankerworm of the virtues!

British Dictionary definitions for cankerworm

cankerworm

/ˈkæŋkəˌwɜːm/
noun
1.
the larva of either of two geometrid moths, Paleacrita vernata or Alsophila pometaria, which feed on and destroy fruit and shade trees in North America
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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cankerworm in the Bible

(Heb. yelek), "the licking locust," which licks up the grass of the field; probably the locust at a certain stage of its growth, just as it emerges from the caterpillar state (Joel 1:4; 2:25). The word is rendered "caterpillar" in Ps. 105:34; Jer. 51:14, 17 (but R.V. "canker-worm"). "It spoileth and fleeth away" (Nah. 3:16), or as some read the passage, "The cankerworm putteth off [i.e., the envelope of its wings], and fleeth away."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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