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[lahy-kan-thruh-pee] /laɪˈkæn θrə pi/
a delusion in which one imagines oneself to be a wolf or other wild animal.
the supposed or fabled assumption of the appearance of a wolf by a human being.
Origin of lycanthropy
From the Greek word lykanthrōpía, dating back to 1575-85. See lycanthrope, -y3
Related forms
[lahy-kuh n-throp-ik] /ˌlaɪ kənˈθrɒp ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lycanthropy
Historical Examples
  • In 1598 a tailor of Chalons was sentenced by the parliament of Paris to be burned alive for lycanthropy.

  • Lycan′thrope, Lycan′thropist, a wolf-man or were-wolf, one affected with lycanthropy.

  • lycanthropy became regarded as a species of witchcraft, the werewolf as obtaining his powers from the Devil.

    The Origin of the Werewolf Superstition Caroline Taylor Stewart
  • Brit., lycanthropy:Insane delusions must reflect the usages and beliefs of contemporaneous society.

    The Origin of the Werewolf Superstition Caroline Taylor Stewart
  • The president of the Court declared that lycanthropy was a form of hallucination and was not in itself a punishable crime.

    Human Animals Frank Hamel
  • This property of lycanthropy, or metamorphosing into a beast, probably dates back to man's creation.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • Nearly related to this lycanthropy is the more horrible vampirism.

  • lycanthropy confines itself to the metamorphosis of physical man to animal form only during man's physical lifetime.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • lycanthropy, however, or the transformation of witches into wolves, presented more difficulty.

    The Necessity of Atheism Dr. D.M. Brooks
  • lycanthropy is a change of condition relative to a property, entirely independent of evolution.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for lycanthropy


the supposed magical transformation of a person into a wolf
(psychiatry) a delusion in which a person believes that he is a wolf
Derived Forms
lycanthropic (ˌlaɪkənˈθrɒpɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Greek lukānthropía, from lukos wolf + anthrōpos man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lycanthropy

1580s, a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf, from Greek lykanthropia, from lykanthropos "wolf-man," from lykos "wolf" (see wolf (n.)) + anthropos "man" (see anthropo-). Originally a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf; applied to actual transformations of persons (especially witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lycanthropy in Medicine

lycanthropy ly·can·thro·py (lī-kān'thrə-pē)
The delusion that one is a wolf.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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