- 1 English
- 2 Afrikaans
- 3 Alemannic German
- 4 Dutch
- 5 Middle Dutch
- 6 Middle English
- 7 Middle High German
- 8 Old High German
- 9 West Frisian
From Middle English wolf, from Old English wulf, ƿulf, 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).
- enPR: wo͝olf
- (obsolete) IPA(key): /wʌlf/
- Rhymes: -ʊlf
wolf (plural wolves)
- The gray wolf, specifically all subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that are not dingoes or dogs.
- A man who makes amorous advances to many women.
- (music) A wolf tone or wolf note.
- (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
- One of the destructive, and usually hairy, larvae of several species of beetles and grain moths.
- A white worm, or maggot, which infests granaries.
- (obsolete) An eating ulcer or sore. See lupus.
- (Can we date this quote?), Jeremy Taylor, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
- If God should send a cancer upon thy face, or a wolf into thy side.
- A willying machine.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for wolf in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)
- (large wild canid): she-wolf
- (large wild canid): dingo, dog (members of Canis lupus not called wolf); coyote, jackal, fox (other canids)
- seawolf (Anarhichas lupus)
- Big Bad Wolf
- cry wolf
- grey wolf, gray wolf
- keep the wolf from the door
- Mexican wolf
- raised by wolves
- red wolf
- Tasmanian wolf
- white wolf
- wolf cub
- wolf down
- wolf in sheep's clothing
- wolf interval
- Wolf Point
- wolf tone
- (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)
- “wolf” in Patuzzi, Umberto, ed., (2013) Ünsarne Börtar [Our Words], Luserna, Italy: Comitato unitario delle linguistiche storiche germaniche in Italia / Einheitskomitee der historischen deutschen Sprachinseln in Italien
- wolf, undomesticated Canis lupus
- one of many other canids of the family Canidae, especially of the genus Canis
- “wolf (I)”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
- “wolf (I)”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929
Middle High German
- Alemannic German:
- Italian Walser: wolf
- German: Wolf
- Luxembourgish: Wollef
- Vilamovian: wūf
- Rhine Franconian:
- Pennsylvania German: Wolf
- Yiddish: וואָלף (volf)
Old High German
wolf m (plural wolfa)
- Middle High German: wolf
wolf c (plural wolven)