wolf

[ woo lf ]
/ wʊlf /

noun, plural wolves [woo lvz] /wʊlvz/.

verb (used with object)

to devour voraciously (often followed by down): He wolfed his food.

verb (used without object)

to hunt for wolves.

Idioms

Origin of wolf

before 900; Middle English; Old English wulf; cognate with German Wolf, Old Norse ulfr, Gothic wulfs, Polish wilk, Lithuanian vil̃kas, Sanskrit vṛka; akin to Latin lupus, Greek lýkos

Related forms

wolf·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cry wolf (1 of 2)

Wolf

/ (German vɔlf) /

noun

Friedrich August (ˈfriːdrɪç ˈauɡʊst). 1759–1824, German classical scholar, who suggested that the Homeric poems, esp the Iliad, are products of an oral tradition
Hugo (ˈhuːɡo). 1860–1903, Austrian composer, esp of songs, including the Italienisches Liederbuch and the Spanisches Liederbuch
(wʊlf) Howlin'. See Howlin' Wolf

British Dictionary definitions for cry wolf (2 of 2)

wolf

/ (wʊlf) /

noun plural wolves (wʊlvz)

verb

(tr often foll by down) to gulp (down)
(intr) to hunt wolves

Derived Forms

wolfish, adjectivewolflike, adjective

Word Origin for wolf

Old English wulf; related to Old High German wolf, Old Norse ulfr, Gothic wulfs, Latin lupus and vulpēs fox
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

Idioms and Phrases with cry wolf (1 of 2)

cry wolf


Raise a false alarm, as in Helen's always crying wolf about attempted break-ins, but the police can never find any evidence. This term comes from the tale about a young shepherd watching his flock who, lonely and fearful, called for help by shouting “Wolf!” After people came to his aid several times and saw no wolf, they ignored his cries when a wolf actually attacked his sheep. The tale appeared in a translation of Aesop's fables by Roger L'Estrange (1692), and the expression has been applied to any false alarm since the mid-1800s.

Idioms and Phrases with cry wolf (2 of 2)

wolf


In addition to the idiom beginning with wolf

  • wolf in sheep's clothing

also see:

  • cry wolf
  • keep the wolf from the door
  • lone wolf
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.