lu·​pine | \ ˈlü-pən How to pronounce lupine (audio) \
variants: or less commonly lupin

Definition of lupine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a genus (Lupinus) of leguminous herbs including some poisonous forms and others cultivated for their long showy racemes of usually blue, purple, white, or yellow flowers or for green manure, fodder, or their edible seeds also : an edible lupine seed


lu·​pine | \ ˈlü-ˌpīn How to pronounce lupine (audio) \

Definition of lupine (Entry 2 of 2)

Did you know?

Lupine comes from lupus, Latin for "wolf", and its related adjective lupinus, "wolfish". Lupine groups have a highly organized social structure, with leaders and followers clearly distinguished; dogs, since they're descended from wolves, often show these lupine patterns when living in groups. Stories of children raised by wolves (the most famous being Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome) have generally been hard to prove, partly because "wild" children lack human language abilities and can't describe their experiences. Lupine is also a noun, the name of a well-known garden flower, which was once thought to drain, or "wolf", the soil of its nutrients.

Examples of lupine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Roadside pops of color, courtesy of lupine, penstemon, clover, thistle and blooming shrubs, brighten meadows while tiny waterholes harbor mini wetland environs rife with water buttercups, frogs and elk. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 15 July 2022 Fender’s blue butterflies are only found in the Willamette Valley, living in prairie meadows among the Kinkaid’s lupine. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 4 July 2022 Aside from poppies, bush sunflowers, wooly blue curls, lupine, black sage, ceanothus and other plants are popping along trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Here lupine provide the foreground with pink poppies in the background. Nicole Cammorata,, 19 June 2022 It’s the strongest season yet for Hader’s acting, which veers between lupine freneticism and existential torpor. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 15 June 2022 Behind the store, the hill was covered with green grass, orange poppies and lavender lupine. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 Stroll the 10-acre garden and take in a display of more than 500 variations of irises, plus perennials such as lupine, allium, Icelandic poppies and delphinium. oregonlive, 3 June 2022 The dampness heightened the fragrance of blooming lupine, filling the woods with the delicate smell of grape juice. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Its cover recalls a vintage GeoCities website: black background, underlined gold text, thumbnail-sized etching of a woman and her lupine companion. Amanda Hess, New York Times, 17 Dec. 2019 Every few months an Italian landowner, angry at having lost livestock to lupine jaws, will shoot a wolf and dump its corpse by the roadside – sometimes mutilated or decapitated – in protest against government policy. Nick Squires, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Sep. 2017 Lupine fix nitrogen from the air in their roots and leaves, and are helping to nourish the ground, said Josh Chenoweth, restoration botanist for the park. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, 3 July 2017 Nimitz frequently took hikes in Tilden, particularly around the Botanic Garden and the roadway at Inspiration Point that would be named for him, and would scatter lupine seeds along the way of his weekly outings. Chris Treadway, The Mercury News, 4 June 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of lupine


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1660, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lupine


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin lupinus, lupinum, from lupinus, adjective


Latin lupinus, from lupus wolf — more at wolf

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Time Traveler for lupine

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The first known use of lupine was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near lupine



lupine maggot

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lupine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for lupine


lu·​pine | \ ˈlü-pən How to pronounce lupine (audio) \

Kids Definition of lupine

: a plant related to the clovers that has tall spikes of showy flowers


variants: also lupin \ ˈlü-​pən How to pronounce lupine (audio) \

Medical Definition of lupine

: any of a genus (Lupinus) of leguminous herbs some of which cause lupinosis and others are cultivated for green manure, fodder, or their edible seeds also : an edible lupine seed

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