wolf

noun, often attributive
\ ˈwu̇lf How to pronounce wolf (audio) , nonstandard ˈwu̇f \
plural wolves\ ˈwu̇lvz How to pronounce wolf (audio) , nonstandard  ˈwu̇vz \

Definition of wolf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 plural also wolf
a : any of several large predatory canids (genus Canis) that are active mostly at night, live and hunt in packs, and resemble the related dogs especially : gray wolf

Note: Wolves have long been viewed as threats to livestock and people resulting in significant worldwide declines in their numbers and range size due to persistent eradication efforts (as by hunting, trapping, and poisoning).

b : the fur of a wolf
2a(1) : a fierce, rapacious, or destructive person
(2) : a man forward, direct, and zealous in amatory attentions to women
b : dire poverty : starvation keep the wolf from the door
c : the maggot of a warble fly
3 [German; from the howling sound]
a(1) : dissonance in some chords on organs, pianos, or other instruments with fixed tones tuned by unequal temperament
(2) : an instance of such dissonance
b : a harshness due to faulty vibration in various tones in a bowed instrument
wolf in sheep's clothing
: one who cloaks a hostile intention with a friendly manner

wolf

verb
wolfed; wolfing; wolfs

Definition of wolf (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to eat greedily : devour

Other Words from wolf

Noun

wolflike \ ˈwu̇lf-​ˌlīk How to pronounce wolf (audio) \ adjective

Examples of wolf in a Sentence

Noun no sooner had the lottery winner's name been made public than the wolves with their investment schemes showed up on her doorstep Verb the way you wolf your food it's no wonder you have intestinal distress
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The report also highlighted a sharp rise in wolf deaths, 26 in 2021, up from 10 the previous year. oregonlive, 5 May 2022 Any wolf has the ability to kill a gentle porcupine. Roger Wicker, WSJ, 4 May 2022 The question comes as the DNR is revising its wolf management plan. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 Driven to near extinction by the middle of the 20th century by poisoning, trapping and shooting, the Endangered Species Act and wolf restoration projects have pushed their numbers to more than 6,000, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. NBC News, 23 Apr. 2022 The Thylacine, a carnivore also referred to as the Tasmanian tiger and Tasmanian wolf, was a (mostly) nocturnal marsupial that preyed on rodents and kangaroos. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 21 Apr. 2022 The house has, among other features, a clamshell grotto and a wolf room. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2022 Interest in this year's ballot should be high due to several issues, including walleye limits, deer farms and wolf management, that are typically controversial. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Apr. 2022 The Voyageurs Wolf Project also says that the wolf in this video did make a kill. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 15 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the time being, project assistants buzz around with power tools and lots of questions, pausing occasionally to wolf down slices of pizza. Naomi Waxman, sun-sentinel.com, 14 July 2021 The letter also said there were cultural considerations that should be accounted for in a delisting, alluding to the opposition by some Native Americans to wolf hunting. Star Tribune, 19 Dec. 2020 Mexicano and my sisters and I would wolf it down whenever Mom made it. Anita L. Arambula, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2020 Maestas said Catron County, New Mexico, long a holdout to wolf releases, has joined the conservation effort. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, 19 Mar. 2020 America is the world’s second-biggest meat market; the average American wolfs down more than 100kg a year. The Economist, 27 Feb. 2020 After wolfing down the food, Rojas said, the couple ordered 10 burritos to go before heading off to the flight back to Denver. Los Angeles Times, 2 Jan. 2020 The aliens are still out there, of course, and probably getting pretty hungry, having wolfed down so much of Earth's population in the first film. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 1 Jan. 2020 And yes, my stomach hurts after wolfing down the whole thing in a matter of minutes. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, 6 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wolf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of wolf

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wolf

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wulf; akin to Old High German wolf wolf, Latin lupus, Greek lykos

Learn More About wolf

Time Traveler for wolf

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near wolf

Wolds, The

wolf

Wolf

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Statistics for wolf

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wolf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wolf. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wolf

wolf

noun
\ ˈwu̇lf How to pronounce wolf (audio) \
plural wolves\ ˈwu̇lvz \

Kids Definition of wolf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large bushy-tailed wild animal that resembles the related domestic dog, eats meat, and often lives and hunts in packs
2 : a crafty or fierce person

Other Words from wolf

wolfish \ ˈwu̇l-​fish \ adjective

wolf

verb
wolfed; wolfing

Kids Definition of wolf (Entry 2 of 2)

: to eat fast or greedily

Wolf biographical name (1)

\ ˈvȯlf How to pronounce Wolf (audio) \

Definition of Wolf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Friedrich August 1759–1824 German philologist

Wolf

biographical name (2)

Definition of Wolf (Entry 2 of 2)

Hugo Philipp Jakob 1860–1903 Austrian composer

More from Merriam-Webster on wolf

Nglish: Translation of wolf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wolf for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wolf

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