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lycanthropy

[lahy-kan-thruh-pee] /laɪˈkæn θrə pi/
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
1575-1585
1575-85; < Greek lykanthrōpía. See lycanthrope, -y3
Related forms
lycanthropic
[lahy-kuh n-throp-ik] /ˌlaɪ kənˈθrɒp ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for lycanthropic
  • Since then, his bone-crunching, sinew-stretching lycanthropic transformations have become legendary.
British Dictionary definitions for lycanthropic

lycanthropy

/laɪˈkænθrəpɪ/
noun
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
Derived Forms
lycanthropic (ˌlaɪkənˈθrɒpɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Greek lukānthropía, from lukos wolf + anthrōpos man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lycanthropic

lycanthropy

n.

1580s, a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf, from Greek lykanthropia, from lykanthropos "wolf-man," from lykos "wolf" (see wolf (n.)) + 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 (especially witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lycanthropic in Medicine

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.
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Encyclopedia Article for lycanthropic

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.
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