Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who spends much time reading or studying.
  • n. Any of various insects, especially booklice and silverfish, that infest books and feed on the paste in the bindings.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various insects that infest books.
  • n. An avid book reader.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any larva of a beetle or moth, which is injurious to books. Many species are known.
  • n. A student closely attached to books or addicted to study; a reader without appreciation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to the larvæ of various insects, which gnaw and injure books, but particularly to those of two species of small beetles, Anobium (Sitodrepa) paniceum and Ptinus brunneus, belonging to the family Ptinidæ.
  • n. A person closely addicted to study; one devoted to the reading of or to research in books: as, “these poring book-worms,” Tatler, No. 278.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who pays more attention to formal rules and book learning than they merit
  • n. someone who spends a great deal of time reading

Etymologies

book +‎ worm (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • The early bird catches the worm and the bookworm catches the owl. "Quotato"

    December 28, 2009

  • Yes--I always hear it as "book larnin'" in my head.

    November 17, 2007

  • The phrase book learning always makes me laugh. It strikes me as a real old-time hillbilly expression.

    November 17, 2007

  • It's just...weird.

    November 17, 2007

  • Next thing you know, they'll be telling us that poindexter is meant to have a negative connotation too.

    November 16, 2007

  • What the...what's up with that WeirdNet definition up there? Eesh.

    November 16, 2007