Definitions for werewolfˈwɛərˌwʊlf, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-; -ˌwʊlvz
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word werewolf
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
were•wolfˈwɛərˌwʊlf, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-; -ˌwʊlvz(n.)(pl.)-wolves
(in folklore) a person who has assumed the form of a wolf.
Origin of werewolf:
bef. 1000; ME werwolf, OE werwulf=wer man (c. Go wair, L vir) +wulfwolf ; c. MD weerwolf, OHG werwolf
werewolf, wolfman, lycanthrope, loup-garou(noun)
a monster able to change appearance from human to wolf and back again
A person who is transformed or can transform into a wolf or a wolflike human, often said to transform during a full moon.
Origin: Late werewulf, from wer + wulf. Other theories have been suggested; see Werewolf: Etymology. Cognate to garou in French loup-garou, from Old French warous, from Frankish wari wulf.
a person transformed into a wolf in form and appetite, either temporarily or permanently, whether by supernatural influences, by witchcraft, or voluntarily; a lycanthrope. Belief in werewolves, formerly general, is not now extinct
A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope, is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or an therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction. Early sources for belief in lycanthropy are Petronius and Gervase of Tilbury. The werewolf is a widespread concept in European folklore, existing in many variants which are related by a common development of a Christian interpretation of underlying Indo-European mythology which developed during the medieval period. From the early modern period, werewolf beliefs also spread to the New World with colonialism. Belief in werewolf develops parallel to the belief in witches, in the course of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Like the witchcraft trials as a whole, the trial of supposed werewolves emerges in what is now Switzerland in the early 15th century and spreads throughout Europe in the 16th, peaking in the 17th and subsiding by the 18th century. The persecution of werewolves and the associated folklore is an integral part of the "witch-hunt" phenomenon, albeit a marginal one, accusations of werewolfery being involved in only a small fraction witchcraft trials. During the early period, accusations of lycanthropy were mixed with accusations of wolf-riding or wolf-charming. The case of Peter Stumpp led to a significant peak in both interest in and persecution of supposed werewolves, primarily in French-speaking and German-speaking Europe. The phenomenon persisted longest in Bavaria and Austria, with persecution of wolf-charmers recorded until well after 1650, the final cases taking place in the early 18th century in Carinthia and Styria.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a person transformed into a wolf, or a being with a literally wolfish appetite, under the presumed influence of a charm or some demoniac possession.
Find a translation for the werewolf definition in other languages:
Select another language: