Definitions

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

  • n. The larva of either of two moths (Paleacrita vernata or Alsophila pometaria), destructive to fruit and shade trees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of two caterpillars, the larvae of geometrid moths, that are destructive to fruit, buds and leaves.
  • n. A corrupting or destructive force.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The larva of two species of geometrid moths which are very injurious to fruit and shade trees by eating, and often entirely destroying, the foliage. Other similar larvæ are also called cankerworms.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to certain caterpillars which are very destructive to fruit- and shade-trees.

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

  • n. green caterpillar of a geometrid moth; pest of various fruit and shade trees

Etymologies

From canker +‎ worm. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The "cankerworm," or licking locust, answers to the

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • This light issue is a cankerworm that has eatendeep into our economy, social life and every other ting you can think of!!

    Global Voices in English » Light Up Nigeria: Enough Is Enough

  • Like a cankerworm it has eaten deeply in the society and finally been accepted by the same society.

    I love Blogger!

  • Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.

    Probably Just One Of Those Funny Coincidences

  • And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

    Probably Just One Of Those Funny Coincidences

  • There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.

    Probably Just One Of Those Funny Coincidences

  • "We need to adopt a zero tolerance policy to this cankerworm at the local and international levels," said Obasanjo, who also chairs the African Union, adding: "For this to happen, cooperation between developed and developing countries is essential."

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Sickness, like a cankerworm, was gnawing at her life, and dragging her towards the tomb.

    Poor Folk

  • O envy, root of all countless evils, and cankerworm of the virtues!

    Don Quixote

  • That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.

    Joel 1.

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