From Middle English wolf, from Old English wulf, ƿulf, from Proto-West Germanic *wulf, from Proto-Germanic *wulfaz (compare Saterland Frisian Wulf, West Frisian and Dutch wolf, German Wolf, Norwegian and Danish ulv), from Proto-Indo-European *wĺ̥kʷos (compare Sanskrit वृक (vṛ́ka), Persian گرگ (gorg), Lithuanian vilkas, Russian волк (volk), Albanian ujk, Latin lupus, Greek λύκος (lýkos), Tocharian B walkwe). Doublet of lobo and lupus.
- enPR: wo͝olf
- enPR: wo͝of, IPA(key): /wʊf/ (now nonstandard)
- enPR: wŭlf, IPA(key): /wʌlf/ (obsolete)
- Rhymes: -ʊlf
wolf (plural wolves)
- Canis lupus; the largest wild member of the canine subfamily.
- Synonym: grey wolf
- 1968, Conquest, Robert, “The Purge Begins”, in The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties, Macmillan Company, LCCN 68-17513, OCLC 1169910711, OL 21272570M, page 74:
- He would listen quietly at meetings of the Politburo, or to distinguished visitors, puffing at his Dunhill pipe, doodling aimlessly - his secretaries Poskrebyshev and Dvinsky write that his pads were sometimes covered with the phrase ‘Lenin-teacher-friend’, but the last foreigner to visit him, in February 1953, noted that he was doodling wolves.
- Any of several related canines that resemble Canis lupus in appearance, especially those of the genus Canis.
- A man who makes amorous advances to many women.
- (music) A wolf tone or wolf note.
- The soft violin solo was marred by persistent wolves.
- (figuratively) Any very ravenous, rapacious, or destructive person or thing; especially, want; starvation.
- They toiled hard to keep the wolf from the door.
- the bee wolf
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071, page 85:
- “ […] Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. Oh, dear, there's so much to tell you, so many warnings to give you, but all that must be postponed for the moment.”
- One of the destructive, and usually hairy, larvae of several species of beetles and grain moths.
- A white worm, or maggot, which infests granaries.
- A wolf spider.
- (obsolete) An eating ulcer or sore. See lupus.
- A willying machine, to cleanse wool or willow.
- 1872, Johann Rudolph von Wagner, A handbook of Chemical Technology:
- The loosening and purifying of the raw cotton from the various impurities , such as sand, grit, &c., is accomplished by beating with the hand, or by the Wolf machine, by means of a cylinder, the surface of which is covered with sharp iron teeth
- (large wild canid): dingo, dog (members of Canis lupus not called wolf); coyote, jackal, fox (other canids)
- Big Bad Wolf
- cry wolf
- grey wolf, gray wolf
- keep the wolf from the door
- Mexican wolf
- raised by wolves
- red wolf
- seawolf (Anarhichas lupus)
- Tasmanian wolf
- white wolf
- wolf cub
- wolf down
- wolf in sheep's clothing
- wolf interval
- Wolf Point
- wolf tone
- wolf worm
- → Ido: volfo (also from German)
- (transitive) To devour; to gobble; to eat (something) voraciously.
- 1987, James Ellroy, The Black Dahlia:
- After a wolfed burger dinner, I called the night number at Administrative Vice and inquired about known lesbian gathering places.
- 2013, Neil Martin, Collected Stories of the Sea:
- Vicars seated himself and began wolfing a sandwich.
- (intransitive, slang) To make amorous advances to many women; to hit on women; to cruise for sex.
- 1949, Nelson Algren, The Man with the Golden Arm:
- [1940s Chicago punk:] ‘I’ve seen a thing or two in my time,’ he still liked to boast, ‘that was how I found out the best place for wolfin’ ain’t the taverns. It ain’t in dance halls ’r on North Clark on Saturday night. It’s in the front row in Sunday school on Sunday mornin’. Oh yeh, I know a thing or two, I been around.’
- (intransitive) To hunt for wolves.
wolf (plural wolwe)
- Patuzzi, Umberto, ed., (2013) Luserna / Lusérn: Le nostre parole / Ünsarne börtar / Unsere Wörter [Our Words], Luserna, Italy: Comitato unitario delle isole linguistiche storiche germaniche in Italia / Einheitskomitee der historischen deutschen Sprachinseln in Italien
- wolf, undomesticated Canis lupus
- Ze gingen de wolven bekijken in de dierentuin.
- They went to look at the wolves in the zoo.
- one of many other canids of the family Canidae, especially of the genus Canis
- Er bestaan verschillende soorten wolven.
- Various species of wolves exist.
- Afrikaans: wolf
- Jersey Dutch: wâlf
- Negerhollands: wuluwuluk
- → Virgin Islands Creole: wuluwuluk (dated)
- Dutch: wolf
- Limburgish: wólf
- “wolf (I)”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
- Verwijs, E.; Verdam, J. (1885–1929), “wolf (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, →ISBN, page I
Middle High German
- Alemannic German: wolf (Italian Walser)
- German: Wolf
- Hunsrik: Wollef
- Luxembourgish: Wollef
- Pennsylvania German: Wolf
- Vilamovian: wūf
- Yiddish: וואָלף (volf)
Old High German
wolf m (plural wolfa)
- Middle High German: wolf
- “wolf”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011