any of numerous plants belonging to the genus Lupinus, of the legume family, as L. albus (white lupine), of Europe, bearing edible seeds, or L. perennis, of the eastern U.S., having tall, dense clusters of blue, pink, or white flowers.

Origin of lupine

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin lupīnus, lupīnum, apparently noun use of lupīnus lupine2; compare German wolfsbohne lupine, literally, wolf bean




pertaining to or resembling the wolf.
related to the wolf.
savage; ravenous; predatory.

Origin of lupine

1650–60; < Latin lupīnus of a wolf, equivalent to lup(us) wolf + -īnus -ine1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lupine

plant, fierce, rapacious, ravenous, wolfish

Examples from the Web for lupine

Contemporary Examples of lupine

Historical Examples of lupine

  • He had, however, taught his wife how to treat him when in his lupine form.

  • Burton, this lupine, leering lover of blood—this killer of women.

    The Red Debt

    Everett MacDonald

  • This had, for two or three days, disputed the ground with the lupine and phlox.

    At Home And Abroad

    Margaret Fuller Ossoli

  • She was on her way, I suppose, to some wild garden, probably for lupine and starchy saxifrage leaves and rootstocks.

  • Lupine-seed, in plant-lore “lupine” means wolfish, and is suggestive of the Evil One.

British Dictionary definitions for lupine



of, relating to, or resembling a wolf

Word Origin for lupine

C17: from Latin lupīnus, from lupus wolf
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

Word Origin and History for lupine

"wolf-like," 1650s, from French lupine "wolf-like," from Latin lupinus "of the wolf," from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lupine in Science



Characteristic of or resembling wolves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.