lone wolf


Definition of lone wolf

: a person who prefers to work, act, or live alone

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lone wolf

lone-wolf \ ˈlōn-​ˌwu̇lf How to pronounce lone-wolf (audio) \ adjective

Examples of lone wolf in a Sentence

He had the reputation of being a lone wolf in high school. a lone wolf in the art world, he has his own style and paints only to please himself

Recent Examples on the Web

To be irredeemable is surely to be special, a lone wolf. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Notes on Cancel Culture," 1 July 2019 Monday's attack on the courthouse was the perfect example of the most difficult threat to detect: the self-radicalized lone wolf. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Dallas’ ‘lone wolf’ shooting shows how we’re always in danger, even with improved security," 22 June 2019 Dave Cole serves up dangerous Judd Nelson-Johnny Depp-Christian Slater realness as J.D., the lone wolf tricking Veronica into taking down Alpha Heather Chandler and then bumping off more obnoxious classmates in the ultimate anti-bullying campaign. Lee Williams | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "‘Heathers: The Musical’ puts Generation X nostalgia front and center," 24 June 2019 An extensive online library contains a trove of manuals with instructions on lone wolf terror-tactics, gunsmithing, data mining, interrogation tactics, counter-surveillance techniques, bomb making, chemical weapons creation, and guerilla warfare. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018 The Islamic State claimed credit for the attack, though there has been no independent corroboration, with police calling it a lone wolf terror attack. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Why? Gun control.," 11 Nov. 2018 Wray said agents are tracking would-be lone wolf Islamic State terrorists en masse, with about 1,000 active ISIS investigations spread across all 50 states. Lisa Rose, CNN, "US has 1,000 open ISIS investigations but a steep drop in prosecutions," 16 May 2018 Too often the media and politicians refer to acts committed by far-right groups as perpetrated by someone with mental health issues, or a lone wolf, not a terrorist. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "The vicious circle of Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism," 6 July 2018 Pei seems to be a lone wolf in the early chapters of the book but falls into line when his maverick behavior is criticized by his commanding officer. Tobias Grey, WSJ, "A Modern-Day Chinese Hit Comes to America," 2 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of lone wolf

1909, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lone wolf

Dictionary Entries near lone wolf

Lone Star

lone star tick

lone troop

lone wolf




Statistics for lone wolf

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lone wolf

The first known use of lone wolf was in 1909

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lone wolf

lone wolf


English Language Learners Definition of lone wolf

: someone who likes to act, live, or work alone

More from Merriam-Webster on lone wolf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lone wolf

Comments on lone wolf

What made you want to look up lone wolf? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!