Definitions

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

  • n. In folklore, the magical ability to assume the form and characteristics of a wolf.
  • n. A delusion that one has become or assumed the characteristics of a wolf or other animal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of shapeshifting between the form of a human being and an animal (usually a wolf), often done during a full moon, according to legend.
  • n. A delusion in which one believes oneself to be a wolf or other wild animal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The supposed act of turning one's self or another person into a wolf.
  • n. A kind of erratic melancholy, in which the patient imagines himself a wolf, and imitates the actions of that animal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The supposed power of certain human beings to change themselves or others temporarily or permanently into wolves or other savage animals. See werewolf.
  • n. The belief that certain persons change themselves into wolves or other wild beasts.
  • n. A kind of erratic melancholy or madness, in which the patient supposes himself to be a wolf. See lycanthrope.

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

  • n. (folklore) the magical ability of a person to assume the characteristics of a wolf

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek λυκανθρωπία, from λυκάνθρωπος. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • [1] The word lycanthropy is sometimes used generically for any transformation of a human into animal form, though the precise term for that is technically \ "therianthropy\".

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  • He described also the strange disease called lycanthropy, a form of insanity in which the patient thinks himself a wolf, and leaves his home at night to wander amongst the tombs.

    Outlines of Greek and Roman Medicine

  • On this mysterious chastisement, which some think consisted in an attack of the madness called lycanthropy, as well as on the interregnum which it must have caused, Babylonian annals are silent: clever hypotheses have been devised either to explain this silence, or in scanning documents in order to find in them traces of the wanted interregnum

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman

  • After the incident of the "burning fiery furnace" (Dan. 3) into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i. e, "the change of a man into a wolf").

    Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • With respect to lycanthropy, that is, the transformation of men into wolves by the power of enchantment, we may observe that a young shepherd’s having killed a wolf, and clothed himself with its skin, was enough to excite the terror of all the old women of the district, and to spread throughout the province, and thence through other provinces, the notion of a man’s having been changed into a wolf.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • On Shakira's pulsing new single "She Wolf," the Colombian superstar transforms into a howling, empowered beast - and drops the term "lycanthropy" (a psychiatric condition where a person believes she can transform into an animal).

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  • Sacra_, p. 59) observes that there was known among the ancients a mental disorder called lycanthropy, the victims of which fancied themselves wolves, and went about howling and attacking and tearing sheep and young children (_Aetius, Lib.

    The Man-Wolf and Other Tales

  • Instead, “Tracker” frames lycanthropy within the language of science. ” Besides a werewolf story, Tracker also touches on the crime scene investigation genre.

    Advanced Review: Tracker #1 | Major Spoilers - Comic Book Reviews and News

  • While his works on lycanthropy and faeries are error-riddled and disproved, his two seminal volumes on ghosts and how to both detect and fight them remain the gold standards of esoteric lore and paranormal studies since their writing.

    The Codex Continual » The Von Baurs

  • D&D players in particular tend to be very cavalier about how their characters are getting clawed and bitten, and a bit of infection risk -- either real-world hazards or fantasy ones like infectious lycanthropy -- would make the gaming worlds that much more complex and interesting.

    The mysteries of rabies Boing Boing

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