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werewolf

[wair-woo lf, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlf, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/
noun, plural werewolves
[wair-woo lvz, weer-, wur-] /ˈwɛərˌwʊlvz, ˈwɪər-, ˈwɜr-/ (Show IPA)
1.
(in folklore and superstition) a human being who has changed into a wolf, or is capable of assuming the form of a wolf, while retaining human intelligence.
Also, werwolf.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English werwolf, Old English werwulf, equivalent to wer man (cognate with Gothic wair, Latin vir) + wulf wolf; cognate with Middle Dutch weerwolf, Old High German werwolf
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for were wolf

werewolf

/ˈwɪəˌwʊlf; ˈwɛə-/
noun (pl) -wolves
1.
a person fabled in folklore and superstition to have been changed into a wolf by being bewitched or said to be able to assume wolf form at will
Word Origin
Old English werewulf, from wer man + wulfwolf; related to Old High German werwolf, Middle Dutch weerwolf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for were wolf

werewolf

n.

late Old English werewulf "person with the power to turn into a wolf," from wer "man" (see virile) + wulf (see wolf (n.); also see here for a short discussion of the mythology). Cf. Middle Dutch weerwolf, Old High German werwolf, Swedish varulf. In the ancient Persian calendar, the eighth month (October-November) was Varkazana-, literally "(Month of the) Wolf-Men."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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