Definition of lupine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈluːpʌɪn/


Of, like, or relating to a wolf or wolves: a lupine howl
More example sentences
  • With media attention hitting fever pitch, a strangely lupine man called Wolf decides to take up the hunt, interrupting Dusty's incompetent press conference.
  • In the Scottish Highlands, environmental campaigners and landowners wrangled over the possibility of reintroducing wolves to a landscape devoid of lupine presence since the 1700s.
  • His name is Nick Dickory, and he has lupine features.


Mid 17th century: from Latin lupinus, from lupus 'wolf'.

  • wolf from Old English:

    The Indo-European root of wolf also gave rise to Greek lukos and Latin lupus, the source of lupine (mid 17th century), ‘like a wolf’. The Greek word gave us lycanthropy (mid 16th century), the mythical transformation of a person into a wolf or werewolf (Old English): the were- part of werewolf is probably from wer, the Old English word for ‘man’ or ‘person’, just as the second half of the Greek comes from anthropos ‘man’ ( see world).

    The story of the shepherd boy who thought it would be funny to cause a panic by falsely crying ‘wolf!’ is one of the fables of Aesop, the Greek storyteller of the 6th century bc. To keep the wolf from the door is to have enough money to avoid starvation: the phrase has been used since the 15th century. To throw someone to the wolves, or leave them to be roughly treated, is surprisingly recent though, being recorded only from the 1920s. The image here is of travellers on a sledge who are set upon by a pack of wolves, and decide to throw out one of their number to lighten the load and allow themselves to make their escape. A wolf in sheep's clothing is a person or thing that appears friendly or harmless but is really hostile. This comes from the Sermon on the Mount, as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus says: ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's cloth, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.’

Words that rhyme with lupine

lupin supine

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lu¦pine

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