were·​wolf | \ ˈwer-ˌwu̇lf How to pronounce werewolf (audio) , ˈwir- How to pronounce werewolf (audio) , ˈwər- How to pronounce werewolf (audio) \
plural werewolves\ ˈwer-​ˌwu̇lvz How to pronounce werewolves (audio) , ˈwir-​ How to pronounce werewolves (audio) , ˈwər-​ \

Definition of werewolf

: a person transformed into a wolf or capable of assuming a wolf's form

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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").

Examples of werewolf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Oh, and then there's the whole fact that Nick also chained up his werewolf familiar Amalia. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "The Best Musical Moments from "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Part 2," 9 Apr. 2019 Michael Jackson does not transform into a werewolf. Aja Romano, Vox, "Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the eternal Halloween bop — and so much more," 31 Oct. 2018 For instance, what would the transformation from human to werewolf be like for a teenager? Katherine Jones, idahostatesman, "'Being willing to be open': Boise High senior finds herself through power of words | Idaho Statesman," 26 May 2018 Victoria's Secret model Sara Sampaio played a chillingly life-like werewolf on a full moon with razor-sharp teeth and claws, while Taylor Hill was virtually unrecognizable as Japanese comic book character, Sailor Moon. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Celebrity Halloween Makeup on Instagram," 1 Nov. 2018 In order to become a werewolf, Tyler must kill somebody.; 9. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "The Ultimate Vampire Diaries Quiz," 18 July 2018 Gwen posted an Instagram story kissing her boyfriend outside while her three sons Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo were busy dressed as a pirate; Spongebob Squarepants; and a werewolf playing with friends. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Shared a Sweet PDA Moment at a Halloween Party," 22 Oct. 2018 Hair of werewolf, sweat of ghost, vampire's fang; 3. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "The Ultimate "Halloweentown" Trivia Quiz," 21 Aug. 2018 The house can be yours for $349,000 — a small price to pay for the chance to get caught in a vampire-werewolf love triangle of your very own. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Bella Swan's House in "Twilight" Is Being Sold for $349,000," 16 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'werewolf.' 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 werewolf

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for werewolf

Middle English, from Old English werwulf (akin to Old High German werwolf werewolf), from wer man + wulf wolf — more at virile, wolf

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Statistics for werewolf

Last Updated

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for werewolf

The first known use of werewolf was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of werewolf

in stories : a person who sometimes changes into a wolf especially when the moon is full


were·​wolf | \ ˈwer-ˌwu̇lf How to pronounce werewolf (audio) , ˈwər-\
plural werewolves\ -​ˌwu̇lvz \

Kids Definition of werewolf

: a person in folklore who is changed or is able to change into a wolf

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More from Merriam-Webster on werewolf

Spanish Central: Translation of werewolf

Nglish: Translation of werewolf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about werewolf

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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