Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

worm information

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.
See also: information, worm

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.
See also: way, worm

cheat the worms

To avoid death, especially after having a serious illness. Refers to the worms often found near a decaying body. A: "I heard that Ellen cheated the worms! Is that true? Last I saw her, she was so sick." B: "Oh, yeah! She's doing great now!" I hope I can cheat the worms and make a full recovery—but I feel so sick right now.
See also: cheat, Worms

can of worms

A situation that, once started, is likely to become problematic or have a negative outcome. Getting involved in the minor border conflict has become a can of worms for the country, with no end to the military engagement in sight. You can try reformatting your computer, but once you open that can of worms, you'll probably be working on it for days.
See also: can, of, Worms

food for worms

A dead person. You better drive more carefully, unless you want to be food for worms!
See also: food, Worms

have one for the worms

To have an alcoholic drink. The phrase refers to the belief that alcohol kills worms in the stomach. Let's all have one for the worms—I'm buying!
See also: have, one, Worms

*can of worms

Fig. a very difficult issue or set of problems; an array of difficulties. (*Typically: be ~; Open ~.) This political scandal is a real can of worms. Let's not open that can of worms!
See also: can, of, Worms

can of worms

A complex unexpected problem or unsolvable dilemma, as in Tackling the budget cuts is sure to open a can of worms. This expression alludes to a container of bait used for fishing, which when opened reveals an inextricable tangle of worms. [1920s]
See also: can, of, Worms

a can of worms

COMMON A can of worms is a situation or subject that is very complicated, difficult or unpleasant to deal with or discuss. Now we have uncovered a can of worms in which there has not only been shameful abuse of power, but a failure of moral authority of the worst kind. Note: You can also use the expression to open a can of worms, meaning to start dealing with or discussing something so complicated, difficult or unpleasant that it would be better not to deal with or discuss it at all. Whenever a company connects its network to the Internet, it opens a can of worms in security terms. Many people worry that by uncovering the cause of their unhappiness they might be opening a can of worms that they can't then deal with.
See also: can, of, Worms

open up a can of worms

discover or bring to light a complicated matter likely to prove awkward or embarrassing. informal
1998 New Scientist UN officials readily accept that they have opened a can of worms, and their guidelines will only have an effect, they say, if governments act on them.
See also: can, of, open, up, Worms

food for worms

a dead person.
See also: food, Worms

a can of ˈworms

(informal) if you open up a can of worms, you start doing something that will cause a lot of problems and be very difficult: I think if we start asking questions we’ll open up a whole new can of worms. Perhaps we should just accept the situation.
See also: can, of, Worms

can of worms

n. an intertwined set of problems; an array of difficulties. (Often with open.) When you brought that up, you opened a whole new can of worms.
See also: can, of, Worms


n. noodles; spaghetti. Let’s have worms tonight.

worms in blood

n. spaghetti in tomato sauce. I’m getting tired of worms in blood every Wednesday.
See also: blood, Worms

can of worms

A complex or difficult problem.
See also: can, of, Worms
References in periodicals archive ?
The helical surface is generated in the same kinematical mode as at the zero convolute worms, but the generation tool is posed with the rectilinear generating edges in a parallel plane with the axial plane of the worm and tangent to the base cylinder, above the first.
Worms like it dark as well and they sense light - even though they don't have eyes, they move away from it.
A female worm can grow to it's full length of 1 meter (3 feet), while the infected person is unaware of the stringy intruder.
Using submersibles with robotic arms, researchers collected some of the worms from 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) deep in the northeastern Pacific.
The researchers recorded more than 20 worm escapes from trout, 6 from perch, and 6 from frogs.
In August, students, teachers and administrators in Florida's Duval County Public Schools were told not to use their school computers because a devastating new Internet-borne worm called Blaster struck the network.
One pound of worms can process about a half pound of garbage a day.
Detailed technical descriptions of these worms as well as a screenshot of the Lirva virus activation circle routine are available in the F-Secure Virus Description database at http://www.
In the computer world, worms exhibit similar behavior.
Carreiro has no luck digging up worms today, but promises better luck if I return later in the year and stand around for 10 minutes.
PROBLEM: Worm probes pose an electrocution hazard to users and passers-by.
MX Logic provides a multi-layered, fully managed virus protection that delivers optimum protection from worms and viruses at the Internet level - before they can enter and damage a customer's corporate messaging infrastructure.
Paralvinella sulfincola is one of the few worms that set up house in the hot zones of hydrothermal vents called chimneys.
An earthworm's digestive system is much simpler than a human's: A worm lacks a stomach or intestines.
Worms from the Netsky family made a significant impact in March, with four versions appearing in the first 9 positions.