worm in the apple


worm in the apple


  • the presence of something very bad in the best
  • something you thought was good, turns out to be bad
  • something rotten
  • something gets spoilt
  • looking good on the outside but bad/rotten on the inside

The phrase is also used (sarcastically) to express a bug or problem in an Apple device.

Example Sentences

  1. There’s nothing worse than getting a worm in your apple!
  2. But for Prince Harry, the British tabloid press was always the worm in the apple.
  3. The party was awesome but angry Bob spoiled it like a worm in the apple.
  4. He is like the worm in the apple as he always spoils the game.
  5. For the first time, the worm in the apple of democracy had shown its ugly face.
  6. Brian then noted the potential worm in the apple.
  7. The worm in the apple, however, was the remaining weakness of Turkey’s political structure.
  8. There’s something sinister about Jack. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s like having a juicy, red apple and finding a worm in it.
  9. That guy is rotten to the core just like an apple riddled with worms.
  10. Mrs. McIver was my infant schoolteacher back in the day. She was a miserable excuse for a woman. A wrinkled-up apple with a worm in the middle.


The phrase “worm in the apple” is relatively new and trending around the globe. The origin of the idiom “worm in the apple” is closely related to Apple Inc. and the bugs (malfunctioning) in software during the modern era.

Also, this is quite a literal phrase taken from the larva of a moth burrowing into the core of an apple.

Historically it has been used many times in literature and poetry. Here is one example;

“The apple has its worm, the rose has its canker, the steel its rust…”
Half a Rogue by Harold MacGrath

It has been used instructionally/helpfully in cooking manuals and scientifically in nature study books too.

‘Make Sure the Apples Contain No Worms’ from the Women’s Institute Library of Cookery.

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Author, John Cheever, wrote a short story titled The Worm in the Apple. “The story of the Crutchman’s who were so very happy and so temperate in all their habits and so pleased with everything that came their way that one was bound to suspects worm in their rosy Apple and that the extraordinary rosiness of the fruit was only meant to conceal the gravity and the depth of the infection.” Quoted from The Worm in the Apple / The short stories of John Cheever May 2000. Excellent story!

‒ Cecilia Dunlop January 22, 2024

Anything negative in relation to an apple goes back to religion when Eve and Adam tasted the forbidden fruit.

‒ Georgia April 8, 2021

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