Definition of slow-worm in English:



  • A small snakelike Eurasian legless lizard that is typically brownish or copper-colored and that gives birth to live young.

    Also called blindworm
    • ‘Our top 30 of garden creatures includes toads, slow-worms, dragonflies and even the humble earthworm.’
    • ‘There are also reptiles, like adders or grass snakes, slow-worms and lizards that are prone to fire damage because they cannot get out quickly enough.’
    • ‘But carefully protect the stripy ones and the slow-worms under the carpet.’
    • ‘Other features that had to be considered were protection of trees, shrubs, slow-worms and grass snakes.’
    • ‘Ground and rove beetles, centipedes, frogs and toads, slow-worms, hedgehogs and many species of birds all eat significant numbers of slugs.’
    • ‘Celia Fiennes nearly fell off her horse in 1698 and found Ely ‘the dirtiest place I ever saw a perfect quagmire, the whole city I had frogs and slow-worms and snails in my room.’’
    • ‘A battle followed to save some of the sites with slow-worms, which delayed building work as English Heritage had to clear the site.’


Old English slāwyrm, from slā- (of uncertain origin) + wyrm snake.