[woo l-vuh-reen, woo l-vuh-reen]
  1. Also called carcajou. a stocky, carnivorous North American mammal, Gulo luscus, of the weasel family, having blackish, shaggy hair with white markings.
  2. (initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of Michigan (the Wolverine State) (used as a nickname).

Origin of wolverine

1565–75; alteration of earlier wolvering (with -ine2 for -ing3), obscure derivative of wolf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for wolverine


  1. a large musteline mammal, Gulo gulo, of northern forests of Eurasia and North America having dark very thick water-resistant furAlso called: glutton

Word Origin for wolverine

C16 wolvering, from wolf + -ing ³ (later altered to -ine)
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 wolverine

carnivorous mammal, 1610s, alteration of wolvering (1570s), of uncertain origin, possibly from wolv-, inflectional stem of wolf; or perhaps from wolver "one who behaves like a wolf" (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper