earth-worm

earthworm

[urth-wurm]
noun
1.
any one of numerous annelid worms that burrow in soil and feed on soil nutrients and decaying organic matter.
2.
Archaic. a mean or groveling person.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English ertheworm. See earth, worm


The earthworm, a commonly used bait for angling, is also called an angleworm in the Northern U.S. and a fishworm in the Northern and Midland U.S. and in New England. It is called a fishing worm in parts of the Midland and Southern U.S., and a wiggler in the Southern U.S.
Because the worm often comes to the surface of the earth when the ground is cool or wet, it is also called a nightwalker in New England, a nightcrawler, chiefly in the Northern, North Midland, and Western U.S., and a dew worm, chiefly in the Inland North and Canada. It is also called a red worm in the North Central, South Midland, and Southern U.S.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
earthworm (ˈɜːθˌwɜːm)
 
n
any of numerous oligochaete worms of the genera Lumbricus, Allolobophora, Eisenia, etc, which burrow in the soil and help aerate and break up the groundRelated: lumbricoid
 
Related: lumbricoid

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

earthworm
1590s, from earth + worm.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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