1 : a delusion that one has become a wolf
2 : the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic
Did You Know?
If you happen to be afflicted with lycanthropy, the full moon is apt to cause you an inordinate amount of distress. Lycanthropy can refer to either the delusional idea that one is a wolf or to the werewolf transformations that have been the stuff of superstitions for centuries. In some cultures, similar myths involve human transformation into other equally feared animals: hyenas and leopards in Africa, for example, and tigers in Asia. The word lycanthropy itself, however, comes from the Greek words lykos, meaning "wolf," and anthrōpos, meaning "human being." Werewolf myths are usually associated with the phases of the moon; the animal nature of the werewolf (or lycanthrope) is typically thought to take over when the moon is full.
The 1941 film The Wolf Man starred Lon Chaney, Jr., as a man cursed with lycanthropy.
"Born in 1859, Alfred Edward Housman came from a talented family…. His sister Clemence's novella, The Were-Wolf, is one of the most powerful stories ever written about lycanthropy." — Michael Dirda, The Washington Post, 13 July 2017
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