werewolf

or wer·wolf

[ wair-woo lf, weer-, wur- ]
/ ˈwɛərˌwʊlf, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr- /

noun, plural were·wolves [wair-woo lvz, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlvz, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/.

(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.

Nearby words

  1. wenzel,
  2. wenzhou,
  3. wept,
  4. were,
  5. weren't,
  6. werewolves,
  7. werfel,
  8. werfel, franz,
  9. wergeland,
  10. wergild

Origin of werewolf

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for werewolf


British Dictionary definitions for werewolf

werewolf

/ (ˈwɪəˌwʊlf, ˈwɛə-) /

noun plural -wolves

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 for werewolf

Old English werewulf, from wer man + wulf wolf; 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

Word Origin and History for werewolf

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