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werwolf

[wair-woo lf, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlf, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/
noun, plural werwolves
[wair-woo lvz, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlvz, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/ (Show IPA)
1.

werewolf

or werwolf

[wair-woo lf, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlf, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/
noun, plural werewolves
[wair-woo lvz, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlvz, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/ (Show IPA)
1.
(in folklore and superstition) a human being who has changed into a wolf, or is capable of assuming the form of a wolf, while retaining human intelligence.
Origin of werewolf
1000
before 1000; Middle English werwolf, Old English werwulf, equivalent to wer man (cognate with Gothic wair, Latin vir) + wulf wolf; cognate with Middle Dutch weerwolf, Old High German werwolf
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for werwolf
Historical Examples
  • Their friend the werwolf had spied them from afar, and was ready to come to their rescue.

  • And all the way the werwolf followed them, and saw that they never lacked for food.

  • Then the werwolf looked at his body, and, behold, he was a man again!

  • Bonivon now saw for the first time the face of his conductor—it was that of a werwolf.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • Nor is this inconsistency only characteristic of the movements, actions, and shape of the werwolf.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • To accuse the lady, who was rich and influential, of being a werwolf would be useless.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • As far as I know, once a werwolf always a werwolf is an inviolable rule.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • I am a werwolf, not by inheritance, but of my own free will.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • My servant on the box who took the place of your employé is a werwolf.

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
  • He was really fond of the Burgomaster, and to think of him a werwolf—well!

    Werwolves Elliott O'Donnell
British Dictionary definitions for werwolf

werewolf

/ˈwɪəˌwʊlf; ˈwɛə-/
noun (pl) -wolves
1.
a person fabled in folklore and superstition to have been changed into a wolf by being bewitched or said to be able to assume wolf form at will
Word Origin
Old English werewulf, from wer man + wulfwolf; related to Old High German werwolf, Middle Dutch weerwolf
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 werwolf

werewolf

n.

late Old English werewulf "person with the power to turn into a wolf," from wer "man" (see virile) + wulf (see wolf (n.); also see here for a short discussion of the mythology). Cf. Middle Dutch weerwolf, Old High German werwolf, Swedish varulf. In the ancient Persian calendar, the eighth month (October-November) was Varkazana-, literally "(Month of the) Wolf-Men."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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