Definition of Tapeworm

1. Noun. Ribbonlike flatworms that are parasitic in the intestines of humans and other vertebrates.

Exact synonyms: Cestode
Generic synonyms: Flatworm, Platyhelminth
Group relationships: Cestoda, Class Cestoda
Specialized synonyms: Echinococcus, Taenia

Definition of Tapeworm

1. n. Any one of numerous species of cestode worms belonging to Tænia and many allied genera. The body is long, flat, and composed of numerous segments or proglottids varying in shape, those toward the end of the body being much larger and longer than the anterior ones, and containing the fully developed sexual organs. The head is small, destitute of a mouth, but furnished with two or more suckers (which vary greatly in shape in different genera), and sometimes, also, with hooks for adhesion to the walls of the intestines of the animals in which they are parasitic. The larvæ (see Cysticercus) live in the flesh of various creatures, and when swallowed by another animal of the right species develop into the mature tapeworm in its intestine. See Illustration in Appendix.

Definition of Tapeworm

1. Noun. Any parasitical worm of the class Cestoda, which infest the intestines of both animals and humans. ¹

2. Noun. A broad fish tapeworm, ''Diphyllobothrium latum''. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Tapeworm

1. a parasitic worm [n -S]

Medical Definition of Tapeworm

1. The tapeworms or cestodes, are ribbon-shaped segmented worms which inhabit the intestinal tract of many vertebrates (including humans). most tapeworm infections occur in Africa, Yugoslavia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Mexico and parts of South America and the U.S.S.R. Some forms may be contracted (in the U.S.) from infected dogs or cats (more common in children) by ingestion of infected fleas. Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) is occasionally encountered in the United States today in immigrants or visitors from endemic areas. Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) is seen more often, especially in those who consume raw beef. Some tapeworms have been known to live up to 20 years and exceed 10 metres in length. Often asymptomatic infestations, but unexplained weight loss, symptoms of pernicious anaemia and the presence of white eggs or ribbon-like segments of worm in stools can be seen in some. (27 Sep 1997)

Tapeworm Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Tapeworm

tapetal light reflex
tapetoretinal degeneration
tapetum alveoli
tapetum lucidum
tapetum nigrum
tapetum oculi
tapeworm infection

Literary usage of Tapeworm

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Report of the Annual Meeting (1866)
"On the Prevalence of tapeworm in Birmingham, and its Causes. ... The author stated that tapeworm prevailed to a great extent in Birmingham, and was often ..."

2. Preventive Medicine and Hygiene by Milton Joseph Rosenau, George Chandler Whipple, John William Trask, Thomas William Salmon (1921)
"The adult worm is also found in cats and dogs that feed upon fish. The fish tapeworm produces a severe anemia resembling pernicious anemia. ..."

3. Text-book of the Embryology of Invertebrates by Eugen Korschelt, Karl Heider, Edward Laurens Mark, William McMichael Woodworth, Matilda Bernard, Martin Fountain Woodward (1895)
"The entire growth represents the fundament of the head of the tapeworm ... It appears that the want of space, to which the tapeworm is subjected as the ..."

4. Medical Record by George Frederick Shrady, Thomas Lathrop Stedman (1897)
"It is generally assumed that a tapeworm is a low kind of animal without nerves. ... In the head the tapeworm possesses well-developed ganglia, ..."

5. Prevention of Disease and Care of the Sick: How to Keep Well and what to Do by William Gordon Stimpson, Milton Hugh Foster (1919)
"The segments vary from 18 to 30 in number. Pork tapeworm ... The presence of a tapeworm is known by the passage of the segments, which may be seen in the ..."

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