gray wolf

noun

Definition of gray wolf 

: a large, broad-headed, wide-muzzled wolf (Canis lupus) that has a dense, heavy coat of usually light brown or brownish gray interspersed with black above and yellowish white below and that was formerly widely distributed throughout North America and Eurasia but is now greatly restricted to the more northerly parts of its range The only sizable gray wolf population south of Canada and Alaska continues to roam the forest-and-lake country of northern Minnesota.— Vic Banks

Note: The gray wolf has been considered a threat to livestock and people for hundreds of years and has been wiped out from most of its original range by hunting, trapping, and poisoning.

called also timber wolf

Illustration of gray wolf

Illustration of gray wolf

Examples of gray wolf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Even today, no animal in North America is at once more loved and reviled than Canis lupus, the gray wolf. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 Since gray wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota are protected under the Endangered Species Act, farmers are forbidden to shoot the predators that devour their livestock. Cori Petersen, WSJ, "Wolves Attack Wisconsin With Washington’s Help," 27 July 2018 In the early 1970s, the gray wolf was teetering on the edge of extinction in the lower 48 states. New York Times, "America Before Earth Day: Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo," 21 Apr. 2018 Wisconsin had a minimum of 905 gray wolves and 238 wolf packs last winter, according to the 2017-'18 tracking survey by the Department of Natural Resources. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: With at least 900 wolves in the state, it's time to gauge public attitudes again," 6 June 2018 While some studies have found that local wildlife in the zone suffered from ill effects, others found that the disaster zone has turned into an unlikely nature reserve, one that has allowed gray wolves to flourish. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Chernobyl is Turning Into a Wildlife Preserve for Wolves," 1 July 2018 ScienceCollared gray wolf in California ventured toward Lake Tahoe’s... US & World // ScienceMariposa Grove, Yosemite’s haven for giant sequoias, restored and... The Caribbean island of Bonaire is one of many places doing just that. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral," 7 July 2018 For example, Mexican wolves—a subspecies of gray wolves that once lived in Mexico and the American Southwest—bounced back after declining to a population of only seven individuals, without causing an outbreak of genetic disease. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 The federal government is considering another attempt to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species. John Flesher, Detroit Free Press, "Feds may drop gray wolf from endangered species list," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gray wolf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gray wolf

1595, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near gray wolf

gray widgeon

gray wildcat

gray willow

gray wolf

Graz

graze

Graziani

Statistics for gray wolf

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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The first known use of gray wolf was in 1595

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gray wolf

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