• a situation when a song that comes to your mind again and again
  • a song that is stuck in your head that you cannot get rid of – usually a song that it very annoying
  • a song that has a very catchy tune – it makes people listen to it repeatedly

Example Sentences

  1. This new PitBull song is a real earworm. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since last week.
  2. I have an earworm! That tune from the new car commercial keeps playing in my head.
  3. Isn’t it odd how an earworm is usually a song that you hate? I wouldn’t mind hearing a song that I like the whole day.
  4. The new jingle for our breakfast cereal proves to be an earworm.
  5. I can’t get rid of the earmworm of the song I have heard today morning.
  6. Johnny always gets an earworm – whenever he listen the songs of Pink Floyd.


The first mention of something like this can be found in Mark Twain’s “A Literary Nightmare” published in 1876. It tells the story of a musical phrase that can only be erased from one’s head by passing it on to another. The earliest known usage of the actual phrase “earworm” is in Desmond Bagley’s 1978 novel “Flyaway.”

The word is borrowed from the German word “Ohrwurm” that means catchy tune. The word has been widely used since the 1980s.

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