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To get someone (sometimes with a touch of trickery) to reveal details that likely would not have been volunteered. Usually followed by "out of," as in "worm information out of." Bill was keeping quiet about his break-up, but I knew I could worm information out of him if I tried hard enough. Kira worms information about upcoming tests out of her teachers by complimenting them and straightening up their classrooms.
worm (one's) way in
To get oneself into a place or a situation, with a touch of trickery, artistry, or cunning. I plan on worming my way into the big meeting by schmoozing with my boss for a while.
burp the worm
rude slang To masturbate. A term only applied to men. A: "Why is he all embarrassed today?" B: "Oh, his crush walked in on him burping the worm. How horrifying is that?"
have a worm in (one's) tongue
To be ornery, irritable, and prone to lashing out. Ever since my boyfriend lost his job, he's had a worm in his tongue and is not very pleasant to be around. Watch what you say around Uncle Ed—he has a worm in his tongue and gets angry at the slightest provocation.
The early bird catches the worm.
Prov. If you wake up and get to work early, you will succeed. (Sometimes used to remark that someone is awake and working surprisingly early, as in the first example.) Fred: What are you doing in the office at 7:30 A.M.? Jane: The early bird catches the worm. I didn't expect to see you studying at the library at this hour of the morning. The early bird catches the worm, huh?
Even a worm will turn.
Prov. Even a meek person will become angry if you abuse him or her too much. You'd better stop maltreating Amy. She's a mild-mannered woman, but even a worm will turn.
worm (has) turned
Fig. Someone who is usually patient and humble has decided to stop being so. Jane used to be treated badly by her husband and she just accepted it, but one day she hit him. The worm turned all right. Tom used to let the other boys bully him on the playground, but one day the worm turned and he's now leader of their gang.
worm(one's way) in (to something)
1. Fig. to wiggle into something or some place. (Fig. on the image of a worm working its way into a very small space.) The little cat wormed her way into the box and got stuck. The cat wormed into the opening.
2. . Fig. to manipulate one's way into participation in something. She tried to worm her way into the play, but the director refused. You can't have a part, so don't try to worm in.
worm(one's way) out (of something)
1. Fig. to wiggle out of something or some place. (Fig. on the image of a worm working its way out of a very small space.) Somehow she managed to worm her way out of the handcuffs. Frank wormed out of the opening. He struggled and struggled and wormed out.
2. . Fig. to manipulate oneself out of a job or responsibility. Don't try to worm yourself out of this affair. It is your fault! You can't worm out of this.
worm something out of someone
to draw or manipulate information out of someone. I managed to worm the name of the doctor out of her before she ran off. You can't worm the names out of me!
The early bird catches the worm.
something that you say in order to tell someone that if they want to be successful they should do something immediately If you see a job that interests you, apply as soon as possible. The early bird catches the worm.
a worm's eye view(British & Australian)
if you have a worm's eye view of something, you only know or understand a part of it, usually the worst or least important part Set in the Paris underworld, the novel provides us with a worm's eye view of society.
The worm has turned.
something that you say when someone who has always been weak and obedient starts to behave more confidently or take control of a situation Yesterday, she just came in and told him to stop bossing her around. The worm has turned!
early bird catches the worm
Also, early bird gets the worm. One who arrives first has the best chance for success, as in She's always the first one in line and does well at these auctions-the early bird catches the worm! This proverbial saying, first recorded in English in 1605, is so familiar that it is often shortened to early bird, a term also used in the sense of "early riser", as in You can call me at seven-I'm an early bird, as well as "early diner" ( This restaurant has early-bird specials at lower prices).
Insinuate oneself subtly or gradually, as in He tried to worm into her confidence. This idiom alludes to the sinuous path of a worm. [Early 1600s]
worm out of
Elicit or make one's way by artful or devious means. For example, He tried to worm the answer out of her, or She can't worm out of this situation. This expression alludes to the sinuous passage of a worm. [Early 1700s]
worm turns, the
Also, the worm has turned. Even a very tolerant person will one day lose patience. For example, He bullied his assistant for years, but one day the worm turned and he walked out without notice, taking along his best clients . This expression comes from the proverb Tread on a worm and it will turn, first recorded in John Heywood's 1546 collection.
1. To introduce or insert oneself into some position or condition by subtle or artful means: He wormed into the role of director by trickery and guile.
2. To introduce or insert someone or something into some position or condition by subtle or artful means: She wormed her sister into the department without anyone realizing it. I wormed the controversial statement into the article without any of the other editors knowing about it.
worm out of
1. To elicit something from someone by artful or devious means: The clever police officers wormed a confession out of the suspect.
2. To extricate oneself from some situation by artful or devious means: You can't worm out of this situation, so don't even try.
n. a drunkard; an alcoholic. (From glow.) Gary came out of the bar and tripped over a napping glow worm near the entrance to the alley.
n. a repellent person, usually a male. Gad, you are a worm, Tom.
n. a fast, but low-rolling ball in golf, baseball, etc. Walter sent a worm burner down the third-base line.
n. a corpse. You wanna end up worm-food? Just keep smarting off.