werewolf

[wair-woolf, weer-, wur-]
noun, plural werewolves [wair-woolvz, weer-, wur-] .
(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:
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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World English Dictionary
werewolf (ˈwɪəˌwʊlf, ˈwɛə-)
 
n , pl -wolves
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
 
[Old English werewulf, from wer man + wulfwolf; related to Old High German werwolf, Middle Dutch weerwolf]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

werewolf
late O.E. werewulf "person with the power to turn into a wolf," from wer "man" + wulf (see wolf; also see here for a short discussion of the mythology). The first element probably is from PIE *uiHro "freeman" (cf. Skt. vira-,
Lith. vyras, L. vir, O.Ir. fer, Goth. wair). Cf. M.Du. weerwolf, O.H.G. werwolf, Swed. varulf. In the ancient Persian calendar, the eighth month (October-November) was Varkazana-, lit. "(Month of the) Wolf-Men."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

werewolves definition


Legendary human beings who are magically transformed into wolves. Werewolves supposedly prowl at night, devouring babies and digging up corpses, and cannot be killed with ordinary weapons. They are particularly associated with the full moon.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for werewolves
These vampiric werewolves would return to their human corpse form at daylight.
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