Did You Know?
Though some doubts about the word’s etymology still remain, "werewolf" probably comes from a prehistoric West Germanic compound whose constituent parts gave Old English "wer" ("man") and "wulf" ("wolf"). The word is related to Middle Dutch "weerwulf" and Old High German werwolf. Another word for "werewolf" is "lycanthrope," which traces back through Latin to a Greek combination of "lyk-" (from lykos, meaning "wolf") and "anthropos" (meaning "man"). English also sometimes makes use of the French-derived word loup-garou, from Old French leu ("wolf") and "garoul" or "garulf" (a word of Germanic origin meaning "werewolf").
WEREWOLF Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of werewolf for English Language Learners
in stories : a person who sometimes changes into a wolf especially when the moon is full
WEREWOLF Defined for Kids
Definition of werewolf for Students
: a person in folklore who is changed or is able to change into a wolf
History for werewolf
The modern English word werewolf came from an Old English word werwulf that was formed from wer, “man,” and wulf, “wolf.”
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