diet of worms

Worms

[wurmz; German vawrms]
noun
1.
a city in E Rhineland-Palatinate, in SW Germany.
2.
Diet of, the council, or diet, held here (1521) at which Luther was condemned as a heretic.
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World English Dictionary
worms (wɜːmz)
 
n
(functioning as singular) any disease or disorder, usually of the intestine, characterized by infestation with parasitic worms

Worms (wɜːmz, German vɔrms)
 
n
a city in SW Germany, in Rhineland-Palatinate on the Rhine: famous as the seat of imperial diets, notably that of 1521, before which Luther defended his doctrines in the presence of Charles V; river port and manufacturing centre with a large wine trade. Pop: 81 100 (2003 est)

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

worm
O.E. wurm, variant of wyrm "serpent, dragon," also in later O.E. "earthworm," from P.Gmc. *wurmiz (cf. O.S., O.H.G., Ger. wurm, O.Fris., Du. worm, O.N. ormr, Goth. waurms "serpent, worm"), from PIE *wrmi-/*wrmo- "worm" (cf. Gk. rhomos, L. vermis "worm," O.Rus. vermie "insects," Lith. varmas "insect,
gnat"), possibly from base *wer- "turn" (see versus). The ancient category of these was much more extensive than the modern, scientific, one and included serpents, scorpions, maggots, and the supposed causes of certain diseases. In Eng., the -o- was a scribal substitution to avoid confusion of -u- and -r- (as also in some, come, monk etc.). As an insult meaning "abject, miserable person" it dates from O.E. The verb meaning "to move like a worm" is recorded from 1610, in fig. senses (attested from 1627) suggesting patient, sinuous progress.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

worm (wûrm)
n.

  1. Any of various invertebrates, as those of the phyla Annelida, Nematoda, Nemertea, or Platyhelminthes, having a long, flexible, rounded or flattened body, often without obvious appendages.

  2. Any of various crawling insect larvae, such as a grub or a caterpillar, having a soft, elongated body.

  3. Any of various unrelated animals, such as the shipworm or the slowworm, resembling a worm in habit or appearance.

  4. worms Infestation of the intestines or other parts of the body with worms or wormlike parasites; helminthiasis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
worm   (wûrm)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Any of various invertebrate animals having a soft, long body that is round or flattened and usually lacks limbs. The term worm is used variously to refer to the segmented worms (or annelids, such as the earthworm), roundworms (or nematodes), flatworms (or platyhelminths), and various other groups.

  2. A destructive computer program that copies itself over and over until it fills all of the storage space on a computer's hard drive or on a network.


Our Living Language  : Earthworms are one of many types of worms, including those of the flat and round species. Over a century ago, Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms and wrote The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms with Observations on Their Habits, an entire book that described his research on earthworm behavior and intelligence and further explained how important earthworms are to agriculture. "Long before [the plow] existed," he wrote, "the land was, in fact, regularly plowed and still continues to be thus plowed by earthworms. It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world." Darwin was referring to the way that earthworms naturally mix and till soil, while both improving its structure and increasing its nutrients. As they tunnel in the soil, earthworms open channels that allow in air and water, improving drainage and easing the way for plants to send down roots; they also carry nutrients from deep soils to the surface. Earthworms eat plant material in the soil, decaying leaves, and leaf litter, and their own waste provides nourishment for plants and other organisms. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen, an important plant nutrient. It is estimated that each year earthworms in one acre of land move 18 or more tons of soil.
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