1. Various small animals, such as rats or cockroaches, that are destructive, annoying, or injurious to health.
2. Animals that prey on farm animals or game or that destroy crops.
3. People considered loathsome or repulsive.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *vermīnum, from Latin vermis, worm; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.