noun (plural wolves /wo͝olvz/)
- 1A wild carnivorous mammal of the dog family, living and hunting in packs. It is native to both Eurasia and North America, but has been widely exterminated.
More example sentences
- Canis lupus, family Canidae; it is the chief ancestor of the domestic dog
- Among wild dogs and wolves, the cooperative hunting pack includes both males and females, and they provision both pups and a nursing mother.
- Did you know that the last British wolf was shot in Scotland in the Fifteenth Century and that the last wolf living wild in England was trapped and killed nearly a thousand years ago?
- Wild dogs, especially the big wild dogs, are famously family oriented, and wolves are no exception.
- 1.1Used in names of mammals similar or related to the wolf, e.g., maned wolf, Tasmanian wolf.More example sentences
- The African wild dog, Lycaon pictus, also called the painted wolf or the Cape hunting dog is the victim mainly of human persecution.
- Only about 500 Ethiopian wolves remain in the wild, and the species has been ravaged by rabies epidemics at least twice in the recent past.
- 2Used in similes and metaphors to refer to a rapacious, ferocious, or voracious person or thing.More example sentences
- Instead, rather intriguingly, it has become a grim battle of the superpowers, both engaged in a hard fight to keep the media wolves from their door.
- Again Ridge instantly screamed out breathless tales of a terrorist wolf, while the media slobbered at the door.
- Who do you feed to the media wolves?
- 2.1 • informal A man who habitually seduces women.More example sentences
- Note that the wolf waits until he gets her into bed before pouncing.
- 3A harsh or out-of-tune effect produced when playing particular notes or intervals on a musical instrument, caused either by the instrument’s construction or by divergence from equal temperament.More example sentences
- The one sure way of avoiding wolf notes but still keeping 3rds and 5ths almost pure was by increasing the number of notes in the octave.
verb[with object] Back to top
- Devour (food) greedily: he wolfed down his breakfastMore example sentences
devour, gobble (up), guzzle, gulp down, bolt (down)• informal put away, demolish, shovel in/down, scoff (down), scarf (up)
- He wolfed the food the down, and then drank from the bowl of water that he had.
- It was perfect to dip naan bread in, and the pilau rice was wolfed down by Matt who seemed to enthuse about how special the chef's special was with every mouthful.
- If I'd have been a real man, I would have bought one of the six pound pie beasts, I would not have wolfed my snack in private.
- Call for help when it is not needed, with the effect that one is not believed when one really does need help.[with allusion to Aesop's fable of the shepherd boy who deluded people with false cries of “Wolf!”]More example sentences
- The saying ‘If you cry wolf too many times, eventually no-one will believe you’ springs to mind.
- If our weather forecasters cry wolf again, we're just not going to believe them next time are we?
- It's like the little boy that cried wolf, but you have to believe that sooner or later it will happen again.
hold (or have) a wolf by the ears
- Be in a precarious position.More example sentences
- I think Thomas Jefferson hit the nail on the head when he likened slavery to holding a wolf by the ears: ‘… we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.’
- A mind can more easily hold a wolf by the ears than steady itself in spiritual experience.
- When you're holding a wolf by the ears, it's a dangerous situation and there is no way to escape without injury.
keep the wolf from the door
- Have enough money to avert hunger or starvation (used hyperbolically): I work part-time to pay the mortgage and keep the wolf from the doorMore example sentences
- Having made enough money to keep the wolf from the door I am concerned with making the world a better place, like many other people.
- I was brought up to believe it is rather vulgar to talk about money, but I do make a very good living - nowhere near the top professionals today, but enough certainly to keep the wolf from the door.
- It was that kind of week for me but mustn't grumble, at least we got some each way money to keep the wolf from the door.
throw someone to the wolves
- Leave someone to be roughly treated or criticized without trying to help or defend them.More example sentences
- Meanwhile, outraged victims attack innocent priests for attempting to defend themselves against their bishop's eagerness to throw them to the wolves in order to save their own sorry butts.
- Basically, throwing Rummy to the wolves may slow the haemorrhage, but it may not stop it.
- So my theory is that someone higher than Sanchez is throwing him to the wolves.
a wolf in sheep's clothing
- A person or thing that appears friendly or harmless but is really hostile.[with biblical allusion to Matt. 7:15]More example sentences
- But the third and potentially worst problem of all is that Dorothea is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and we divers appear to be exceedingly gullible!
- Although few would have suspected that Page was actually a wolf in sheep's clothing, the presenter is set to stop his fee payments this month in protest at what he claims is a BBC bias against rural Britain.
- Vancouverites have quickly cottoned on to the fact they'd been fooled into electing a wolf in sheep's clothing in their rush to promote the former cop to the top political office in the City.
- More example sentences
- Game rangers set traps to snare the wolf-like animals.
- There flourished a very wolf-like breed, the stout husky, reined in as it is to provide human transport by hauling sledges across frozen tundra.
- It's a big new mammal: a wolf-like creature of massive proportions with a bone-crunching jaw a metre long.
Old English wulf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wolf and German Wolf, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin lupus and Greek lukos. The verb dates from the mid 19th century.