A format-best 75 from Tom Kohler-Cadmore had the visitors eying a mammoth total but they lost seven wickets for 56 after his dismissal - including their last five for paltry 10 runs in 11 balls - to be 173 all out.
Nottinghamshire left-armer Harry Gurney was the main beneficiary as he returned figures of 3-25, while fellow seamer Jake Ball (2-42) pulled back a previously forgettable outing by consecutively bowling Joe Leach and Ed Barnard.
A home crowd of 10,123 anticipated a match-winning turn from Alex Hales but, after the England limted-overs opener departed for 47, Worcestershire’s slow bowlers strangled the life out of a Notts innings that spluttered to 153 for nine.
Daryl Mitchell’s men remain second in the North Group - four points clear of Notts, who have played a game more and will hope the addition of former England coach Peter Moores to their backroom staff this week can turnaround their flagging fortunes.
Mitchell won the toss but was lbw on the sweep to Samit Patel off the fifth ball of the match, bringing Kohler-Cadmore to the crease.
The 20-year-old emphatically punished an initially wayward Notts attack to race to a 26-ball half century, featuring six fours and three sixes.
A partnership of 86 with Richard Oliver ended when the opener was bowled by medium pacer Steven Mullaney for 31.
The visitors were handsomely placed on 94 for two at the midway point and Kohler-Cadmore continued to make merry, planting Dan Christian and Mullaney over midwicket and long-on respectively two more towering maximums.
After another four through backward point, Christian got his man - somewhat inevitably caught on the on the long-on boundary.
Brett D’Oliveira (14) was brilliantly caught in the deep by Greg Smith off Patel and Hales recovered from a fumble to run out Colin Munroe (16), before Ball and Gurney unceremoniously ripped the wheels from a now spluttering Rapids juggernaut.
Notts opener Michael Lumb dragged Barnard’s first ball onto his stumps in the fourth over of the reply, while three lusty on-side sixes showed Hales to be in typically imposing form.
Kohler-Cadmore ensured he remained the night’s great entertainer by catching Hales at long-off, making him Mitchell’s sole scalp in a miserly four overs for 18.
Having added 53 with Hales, Riki Wessels was the next man to go - D’Oliveira disturbing his stumps for 24 - and the required rate moved beyond over 10-per-over as Worcestershire firmly applied the breaks
Christian (26) threatened to break the shackles in the 15th over, pumping a D’Oliveira full-toss high over midwicket and striking four more through cover, but a decisive blow followed, with Saeed Ajmal (2-33) bowling an advancing Christian through the gate the ball after ending a scratchy Patel knock.
Exemplary catching in the deep, alongside a play-on ramp shot off Leach (3-27) that Mullaney will be loathe to see again, meant Notts fell comfortably short - an enterprising 20 from Smith in vain.