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Pronunciation: werm


  1. anatomy any structure resembling a worm, the midline part of the cerebellum in the forms of “vermis” and “lumbrical.”
  2. Term once used to designate any member of the invertebrate group or former subkingdom Vermes, a collective term no longer used taxonomically; now commonly used to designate any member of the separate phyla Annelida (the segmented or true worms), Nematoda (roundworms), and Platyhelminthes (flatworms). Important species include Dracunculus medinensis (dragon, guinea, Medina, or serpent worm), Enterobius vermicularis (seat worm or pinworm), Loa loa (African eye worm), Moniliformis (phylum Acanthocephala, thorny-headed worms), Oxyspirura mansoni (Manson eye worm), Pentastomida (tongue worm), Strongylus (palisade worm), Thelazia (eye worm), and Trichinella spiralis (pork or trichina worm). For some types of worms not listed as subentries here (because they are usually written as one word), see the full name.

[A.S. wyrm]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.