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)

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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 Along the way, the blooms of corn lilies, lupine, starflowers and other wildflowers are now just starting and July looks like a can’t-miss spectacle. Tom Stienstra,, "The case for visiting Lassen, California’s first national park to fully reopen during coronavirus," 24 June 2020 Many of the lupine that have come up again in my wildflower garden this year have curled leaves. oregonlive, "Forgotten compost bin likely high in nutrients: Ask an expert," 20 May 2020 There were flowers that sound like Harry Potter creatures — bladder pod, brittlebush, lupine — on the coast, and gifts from the occult — desert star, ghost flowers, phacelia — farther inland. Danielle Pergament, New York Times, "‘Do Not Touch the Flowers!’ One Family’s Eco-Adventure in the American Southwest," 16 Mar. 2020 For the latter, check out things like bee balms, columbines, lupines, foxgloves, hollyhocks, cleomes, impatiens and petunias. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Answering reader questions: When nonnative plants are OK, how to attract hummingbirds," 20 Feb. 2020 And in Tahoe City, lupines spring up along the lake shore in June or July each year — some reaching four feet tall. Sunny Fitzgerald, Washington Post, "The fields are alive: How to view a wildflower bloom without destroying it," 13 Mar. 2020 But the brothers’ legacy undoubtedly left its mark on Roman culture—and now, archaeologists may be one step closer to unraveling a crucial chapter in the twins’ lupine tale. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Archaeologists Unearth Possible Shrine to Romulus, Rome’s Legendary Founder," 22 Feb. 2020 Both movie and book end with Buck living on to create an immortal legacy with the lupine pack and their offspring. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "How 'Call of the Wild's heartbreaking dog ending veers from brutal novel (Spoilers!)," 22 Feb. 2020 And the plant species used most by that species was large-leaved lupine. Kristen Rogers And David G. Allan, CNN, "If you want to save bumble bees, plant these flowers in your yard," 28 Jan. 2020 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, "The Wild Woman Awakens," 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, "Where Romulus suckled, wolves roam again," 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, "At Elwha River, forests, fish and flowers where there were dams and lakes," 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, "Admiral, sower of Berkeley wildflowers, made history 75 years ago," 4 June 2017

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lupine

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lupine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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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 lupin (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

More from Merriam-Webster on lupine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lupine Encyclopedia article about lupine

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