gordian wormgor·dian worm
any of a phylum (Nematomorpha) of long, thin, worms parasitic in insects when immature and free-swimming as adults; horsehair worm
Origin of gordian wormin allusion to Gordian knot, from the tangled masses the worms sometimes form
(plural Gordian worms)
- A horsehair worm (Nematomorpha), that fatally parasitizes insects and crustacea in its larval stage.
Because it sometimes ties itself into a knot; see Gordian knot.