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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 Temps climb high in the summer months — especially these days — and springtime is the ideal season to visit, with cooler nights and the Central Coast blanketed in vibrant blooms of lupine, yellow mustard, and California poppies. Krista Simmons, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 May 2021 There’s nothing wrong with being a wolf; most of us are at least a little lupine. B. D. Mcclay, The New Yorker, 26 Dec. 2020 The lupine and soapberry were nitrogen fixers, adding nitrogen to this slow-growing stand. Suzanne Simard, Wired, 7 May 2021 Though Folsom Lake generally has its fair share of lupine flowers, lakes aren’t the typical spots people go to see wildflowers, which made this particular super bloom unique. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 2021 Dozens of groups have tracked life’s reemergence there, one lupine and ladybug at a time. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, 21 Apr. 2021 The pollinator garden is 5 feet by 12 feet and now contains monarda (bee balm), crocosmia, delphinium, foxglove, lupine, phlox, columbine, stiff goldenrod, liatris, Black-eyed Susan, and butterfly weed. Judy Hake,, 17 Apr. 2021 During a visit in early April, the hills were green but lacked the poppies and lupine that typically cover hillsides during rainier years. Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2021 Lupine Purple lupine flowers are also abundant in the Columbia River Gorge, and can typically be found mixed in with balsamroot blooms or off in stands of their own. oregonlive, 15 Apr. 2021 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lupine

Time Traveler for lupine

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lupine

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lupine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lupine Encyclopedia article about lupine


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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