Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Either of two carnivorous mammals of the family Canidae, especially the gray wolf of northern regions, that typically live and hunt in hierarchical packs and prey on livestock and game animals.
  • n. The fur of such an animal.
  • n. Any of various similar or related mammals, such as the hyena.
  • n. The destructive larva of any of various moths, beetles, or flies.
  • n. One that is regarded as predatory, rapacious, and fierce.
  • n. Slang A man given to paying unwanted sexual attention to women.
  • n. Music A harshness in some tones of a bowed stringed instrument produced by defective vibration.
  • n. Music Dissonance in perfect fifths on a keyboard instrument tuned to a system of unequal temperament.
  • transitive v. To eat greedily or voraciously: "The town's big shots were ... wolfing down the buffet” ( Ralph Ellison).
  • idiom wolf at the door Creditors or a creditor.
  • idiom wolf in sheep's clothing One who feigns congeniality while actually holding malevolent intentions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large wild canid of certain subspecies of Canis lupus.
  • n. A man who makes amorous advances on many women.
  • n. A wolf tone or wolf note; an unpleasant tone produced when a note matches the natural resonating frequency of the body of a musical instrument, the quality of which may be likened to the howl of a wolf.
  • v. To devour; to gobble; to eat (something) voraciously.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of wild and savage carnivores belonging to the genus Canis and closely allied to the common dog. The best-known and most destructive species are the European wolf (Canis lupus), the American gray, or timber, wolf (Canis occidentalis), and the prairie wolf, or coyote. Wolves often hunt in packs, and may thus attack large animals and even man.
  • n. One of the destructive, and usually hairy, larvæ of several species of beetles and grain moths.
  • n. Fig.: Any very ravenous, rapacious, or destructive person or thing; especially, want; starvation.
  • n. A white worm, or maggot, which infests granaries.
  • n. An eating ulcer or sore. Cf. Lupus.
  • n.
  • n. The harsh, howling sound of some of the chords on an organ or piano tuned by unequal temperament.
  • n. In bowed instruments, a harshness due to defective vibration in certain notes of the scale.
  • n. A willying machine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hunt for wolves.
  • To devour ravenously: as, to wolf down food.
  • n. A digitigrade carnivorous canine quadruped, Cants lupus, of the lupine or thoöid series of Canidæ; hence, some similar animal.
  • n. A person noted for ravenousness, cruelty, cunning, or the like: used in opprobrium.
  • n. In entomology:
  • n. A small naked caterpillar, the larva of Tinea granella, the wolf-moth, which infests granaries.
  • n. The larva of a bot-fly; a warble.
  • n. A tuberculous excrescence which rapidly eats away the flesh. See lupus, 3.
  • n. In music:
  • n. The harsh discord heard in certain chords of keyboard-instruments, especially the organ, when tuned on some system of unequal temperament.
  • n. A chord or interval in which such a discord appears.
  • n. In instruments of the viol class, a discordant or false vibration in a string when stopped at a certain point, usually due to a defect in the structure or adjustment of the instrument. Sometimes called wolf-note.
  • n. A wooden fence placed across a ditch in the corner of a field, to prevent cattle from straying into another field by means of the ditch.
  • n. Same as willow.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various predatory carnivorous canine mammals of North America and Eurasia that usually hunt in packs
  • n. Austrian composer (1860-1903)
  • n. German classical scholar who claimed that the Iliad and Odyssey were composed by several authors (1759-1824)
  • v. eat hastily
  • n. a cruelly rapacious person
  • n. a man who is aggressive in making amorous advances to women

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English wulf.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English wolf, from Old English wulf, ƿulf, from Proto-Germanic *wulfaz (compare West Frisian and Dutch wolf, German Wolf, Danish ulv), from Proto-Indo-European *wĺ̥kʷos; akin to Sanskrit वृक (vṛ́ka), Persian گرگ (gorg), Lithuanian vilkas, Russian волк (volk), Albanian ujk, Latin lupus, Greek λύκος, Tocharian B walkwe. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • The wolf looking out through human eyes with blazing animal alertness. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 28, 2012

  • Sometimes he was the Red Riding Hood wolf, or the wolf spoke with his voice. You'll be seeing me very soon. I could feel you close all day. Me too. Sometimes he was just himself, invisibly next to me on the couch, the source - as in heat source or light source - of unloneliness. The way sometimes he'd put his hand in the small of my back. It was as if my consciousness that was terrified of having to go back to being alone. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 27, 2012

  • Primarily because the original spelling of wolf was wulf and the pronunciation is a relic of that.

    February 5, 2009

  • Would wolf and golf rhyme? They must do because they are spelt similarly and why would you pronounce them differently?

    February 5, 2009

  • From Wikipedia:

    a wolf tone, or simply 'wolf', is produced when a played note matches the natural resonating frequency of the body of a musical instrument...an overtone that amplifies and expands the frequencies of the original note, frequently accompanied by an oscillating beating...which may be likened to the howling of the animal.

    Not to be confused with Wolfe Tone, a leader in the Irish independence movement of the late 18th century.

    November 5, 2008

  • "When you enter Gladiator Arena keep an eye out for Wolf! Able to smell fear and always going for the jugular, Wolf is 230-pounds of primal fury. He will ferociously defend his turf... and thrives on the opportunity to sink his teeth into any challenge."

    (Official biography on the NBC American Gladiators website)

    September 6, 2008

  • Flow in reverse.

    November 2, 2007