Definition of woodworm in US English:



  • 1The worm or larva of a beetle that bores into wood.

    • ‘He once discovered from the woodworm living in the beam in the roof of his prison cell that they were moments away from chewing right through.’
    • ‘The current gang of squatters are not happy we have moved in - namely the woodworm, hairy spiders, 20 years of cobwebs and dust and a family of fieldmice.’
    • ‘However, the relatively soft woods of European furniture were no match for the humidity, tropical woodworms, and termites of Cuba.’
    • ‘Held in a prison cell, he called for the guards and got out seconds before the roof fell in - the story goes that the woodworms had ‘told’ him they were chewing through the beam.’
    • ‘However fine lines can rapidly break down, and that implacable enemy of the woodcut, the woodworm, leaves its mark in the small white circles which often denote later impressions of an old cut.’
    • ‘Have you ever pulled a piece of furniture out from the wall, after several years, to find that the woodworm have been busy behind?’
    • ‘If you listen hard enough, you can hear the sound of a thousand woodworm croaking their last.’
    • ‘A serious woodworm out-break in the sanctuary was discovered and all affected timbers have now been removed.’
    • ‘The floors and doors on the main floor are of solid mahogany, which is impervious to tropical woodworms and termites.’
    • ‘Acclaim for the film of Sir Hector's last expedition was gradually wheedling stray young men like sated woodworms, into the light of potential dangers.’
    • ‘Woodworms are still the one danger to the survival of letters on their journey out of the jungle; they have to be protected from them by being placed in a plastic bag.’
    • ‘At that moment my heart was in my mouth, for I could see Lot 88 written on them and also the woodworm in crates that had never been opened since 1921.’
    1. 1.1 The damaged condition of wood resulting from infestation with this larva.
      • ‘Hemingway later blamed the damage on woodworm, a witty reference to absinthe's quasi - magical ingredient - wormwood.’
      • ‘In recent years the Grahams have had to put up with freezing cold, mildew and woodworm.’
      • ‘The 76-year-old from Southend Road, Wickford, was tricked into believing his roof was riddled with woodworm and in danger of collapsing without major repair work.’
      • ‘There was no central heating and the house was riddled with woodworm and damp.’
      • ‘Although the articles we created from plywood have long since disintegrated through woodworm and decay, memories of our early lives and our innocent preoccupation remain constant.’
      • ‘Wooden panelling on the walls of the upstairs bedrooms had woodworm and were replaced by healthy new tongue-and-groove panelling.’
      • ‘The hills of Ibiza are covered in savine pine trees which are prized for their wood because it is immune to woodworm and therefore excellent in the construction of interiors.’
      • ‘Besides, the very roof of the church, damaged by a great storm in 1961, infested with woodworm and leaking in many places, was judged to be highly dangerous.’
      • ‘At least they now have a building without all forms of rot and woodworm, and without pigeons in the roof and who knows what in the cellars!’
      • ‘Inspect the roof - looking at lead flashing joints in the valley between roof slopes - guttering, windows and door frames, and be vigilant for signs of damp, rot or woodworm.’
      • ‘Our house now resembles a once-magnificent oaken beam, riddled with woodworm and crumbling into its final collapse - like the country it used to so proudly represent.’
      • ‘It has to be cut thickly (making individual panels rather heavy) and is prone to warping and damage by woodworm.’
      • ‘He couldn't play it; the guitar was riddled with woodworm.’
      • ‘Staff will also be on the lookout for insect pests such as woodworm, and surfaces and open stonework will also get the spring clean treatment all year round.’
      • ‘Such work can only be carried out by a reliable specialist as in the case of aforementioned woodworm infestation treatment.’
      • ‘The tree, in the car park of St John the Baptist Church, was ‘badly scarred’ by the incident and a tree specialist told Millward that it will probably suffer from woodworm and rot.’
      • ‘Beware of carvings containing tiny holes that are not part of the design - they could indicate the existence of woodworm.’
      • ‘The order was not without its problems - large discounts were often insisted upon and the furniture was infested with woodworm on arrival.’
      • ‘Also check floorboards and woodwork for active woodworm and rot.’