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lycanthropy

Syllabification: ly·can·thro·py
Pronunciation: /līˈkanTHrəpē
 
/

Definition of lycanthropy in English:

noun

1The supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf, as recounted in folk tales.
Example sentences
  • For his trouble, he's cursed with a peculiar form of lycanthropy that appears to transform its sufferers into German shepherds.
  • A teenage werewolf tale that cleverly equates lycanthropy with menstruation, Snaps is a horror movie that apparently has something to say.
  • When Ginger turns from horny to hyper violent, Brigitte's last hope is Sam, a handsome dope dealer with expertise in biology and lycanthropy.
1.1 archaic A form of madness involving the delusion of being an animal, usually a wolf, with correspondingly altered behavior.
Example sentences
  • Similar attempts to explain lycanthropy as a delusion rooted in illness have been repeated throughout the twentieth century.
  • In modern psychology, lycanthropy is an infrequent disorder in which a person believes they're a wolf or some other animal, often linked to schizophrenia.
  • There are a few cases of lycanthropy, such as drug addicts being locked up after claiming to be seeing satanic visions, growing hair and even chasing rabbits in their spare time.

Origin

late 16th century (as a supposed form of madness): from modern Latin lycanthropia, from Greek lukanthrōpia, from lukos 'wolf' + anthrōpos 'human being, man'.

More
  • 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.’

Derivatives

lycanthropic

1
Pronunciation: /ˌlīkənˈTHräpik/
adjective
Example sentences
  • It went lycanthropic and started growling at me.
  • She was a very suggestive looking… er… droid, especially to a lonely guy with lycanthropic tendencies.
  • These men and women were all subject to genetic altercations that created them into lycanthropic monsters.

Words that rhyme with lycanthropy

misanthropy, philanthropy

Definition of lycanthropy in:

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