lycanthropy

lycanthropy

[lahy-kan-thruh-pee]
noun
1.
a delusion in which one imagines oneself to be a wolf or other wild animal.
2.
the supposed or fabled assumption of the appearance of a wolf by a human being.

Origin:
1575–85; < Greek lykanthrōpía. See lycanthrope, -y3

lycanthropic [lahy-kuhn-throp-ik] , adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Lycanthropy
Collins
World English Dictionary
lycanthropy (laɪˈkænθrəpɪ)
 
n
1.  the supposed magical transformation of a person into a wolf
2.  psychiatry a delusion in which a person believes that he is a wolf
 
[C16: from Greek lukānthropía, from lukos wolf + anthrōpos man]
 
lycanthropic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

lycanthropy
1580s, from Gk. lykanthropia, from lykos "wolf" + anthropos "man" (see anthropo-). Originally a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf; applied to actual transformations of persons (esp. witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

lycanthropy ly·can·thro·py (lī-kān'thrə-pē)
n.
The delusion that one is a wolf.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

lycanthropy

(from Greek lykos, "wolf "; anthropos, "man"), mental disorder in which the patient believes that he is a wolf or some other nonhuman animal. Undoubtedly stimulated by the once widespread superstition that lycanthropy is a supernatural condition in which men actually assume the physical form of werewolves or other animals, the delusion has been most likely to occur among people who believe in reincarnation and the transmigration of souls. Usually, a person is deemed to take the form of the most dangerous beast of prey of the region: the wolf or bear in Europe and northern Asia, the hyena or leopard in Africa, and the tiger in India, China, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia; but other animals are mentioned too. Both the superstition and the psychiatric disorder are linked with belief in animal guardian spirits, vampires, totemism, witches, and werewolves. The folklore, fairy tales, and legends of many nations and peoples show evidence of lycanthropic belief.

Learn more about lycanthropy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature