Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several carnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, especially the gray wolf of northern regions, that typically live and hunt in packs.
  • noun The fur of such an animal.
  • noun Any of various similar or related mammals, such as the hyena.
  • noun The destructive larva of any of various moths, beetles, or flies.
  • noun One that is regarded as predatory, rapacious, and fierce.
  • noun Slang A man who habitually makes aggressive sexual advances to women.
  • noun A harshness in some tones of a bowed stringed instrument produced by defective vibration.
  • noun Dissonance in perfect fifths on a keyboard instrument tuned to a system of unequal temperament.
  • transitive verb To eat greedily or voraciously.
  • 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 The Century Dictionary.

  • To hunt for wolves.
  • To devour ravenously: as, to wolf down food.
  • noun A digitigrade carnivorous canine quadruped, Cants lupus, of the lupine or thoöid series of Canidæ; hence, some similar animal.
  • noun A person noted for ravenousness, cruelty, cunning, or the like: used in opprobrium.
  • noun In entomology:
  • noun A small naked caterpillar, the larva of Tinea granella, the wolf-moth, which infests granaries.
  • noun The larva of a bot-fly; a warble.
  • noun A tuberculous excrescence which rapidly eats away the flesh. See lupus, 3.
  • noun In music:
  • noun The harsh discord heard in certain chords of keyboard-instruments, especially the organ, when tuned on some system of unequal temperament.
  • noun A chord or interval in which such a discord appears.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Same as willow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) 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.
  • noun (Zoöl.) One of the destructive, and usually hairy, larvæ of several species of beetles and grain moths.
  • noun Fig.: Any very ravenous, rapacious, or destructive person or thing; especially, want; starvation.
  • noun A white worm, or maggot, which infests granaries.
  • noun obsolete An eating ulcer or sore. Cf. Lupus.
  • noun The harsh, howling sound of some of the chords on an organ or piano tuned by unequal temperament.
  • noun In bowed instruments, a harshness due to defective vibration in certain notes of the scale.
  • noun (Textile Manuf.) A willying machine.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A black variety of the American gray wolf.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the Thibetan wolf (Canis laniger); -- called also chanco.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an Asiatic wolf (Canis pallipes) which somewhat resembles a jackal. Called also landgak.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the coyote.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See in the Vocabulary.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the striped hyena.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the zebra wolf.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the spotted hyena.
  • noun to keep away poverty; to prevent starvation. See Wolf, 3, above.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A dog bred between a dog and a wolf, as the Eskimo dog.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a wolf fish.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of large, voracious marine fishes of the genus Anarrhichas, especially the common species (Anarrhichas lupus) of Europe and North America. These fishes have large teeth and powerful jaws. Called also catfish, sea cat, sea wolf, stone biter, and swinefish.
  • noun a kind of net used in fishing, which takes great numbers of fish.
  • noun (Bot.) the tomato, or love apple (Lycopersicum esculentum).

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English wulf; see wl̥kwo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

Comments

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  • Flow in reverse.

    November 2, 2007

  • "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

  • 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

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

    February 5, 2009

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

    February 5, 2009

  • 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

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

    March 28, 2012