wol·​ver·​ine | \ ˌwu̇l-və-ˈrēn How to pronounce wolverine (audio) \
plural wolverines

Definition of wolverine

1 plural also wolverine
a : a carnivorous usually solitary mammal (Gulo gulo) of the weasel family of northern forests and associated tundra that is dark brown with a light brown band on each side of the body and is noted for its strength
b : the fur of the wolverine
2 capitalized : a native or resident of Michigan used as a nickname

Illustration of wolverine

Illustration of wolverine

wolverine 1a

Examples of wolverine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Antelope Island shot this photograph of a wolverine on May 4 running across Bridger Bay at the northwest end of the island in the Great Salt Lake. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Wolverine appears on Antelope Island," 5 May 2021 The collar on a wolverine provides data for several months after the animal is released and bounds off into the snow. New York Times, "They’re Arctic Survivors. How Will They Adapt to Climate Change?," 11 Feb. 2021 An ultra rare wolverine was caught on camera galloping through a snowy forest in Yellowstone National Park last month. Paul Best, Fox News, "Caught on camera: Rare wolverine in Yellowstone National Park," 15 Jan. 2021 However, this new sighting marks the first time a wolverine has been caught on film since remote cameras were placed throughout the park in 2014, as stated by Yellowstone’s Facebook post. Jacob Muñoz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Wolverine Captured on Yellowstone Trail Cameras for the First Time," 22 Jan. 2021 Remote cameras have been used since 2014 to keep track of cougars in the park, but this was the first time a wolverine has been caught on a camera, the park wrote on Facebook. Paul Best, Fox News, "Caught on camera: Rare wolverine in Yellowstone National Park," 15 Jan. 2021 This wolverine was near the Mammoth Hot Springs on a remote trail. Paul Best, Fox News, "Caught on camera: Rare wolverine in Yellowstone National Park," 15 Jan. 2021 In the past few weeks alone, the administration delisted gray wolves and denied federal protections for the wolverine. National Geographic, "Could endangered species and other animals fare better under Biden?," 9 Nov. 2020 But if a larger animal like a caribou is sick or injured, a wolverine might attack it, according to National Geographic. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "First Wolverine Family Makes a Home in Mount Rainier National Park in 100 Years," 26 Aug. 2020

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

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wolverine

probably irregular from wolv- (as in wolves)

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Time Traveler for wolverine

Time Traveler

The first known use of wolverine was in 1574

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Statistics for wolverine

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wolverine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wolverine. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of wolverine

US : a strong animal with brown fur that lives in North America


wol·​ver·​ine | \ ˌwu̇l-və-ˈrēn How to pronounce wolverine (audio) \

Kids Definition of wolverine

: a mostly dark brown wild animal with shaggy fur that resembles a small bear but is related to the weasel, eats meat, and is found chiefly in the northern forests of North America

More from Merriam-Webster on wolverine

Nglish: Translation of wolverine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wolverine

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