Word of the Day: Wolf
wolf / wo͝olf
plural is wolves / wo͝olvz
1. a wild dog of the genus Canis, similar to a coyote
Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.
2. the fur from the wild canine of the genus Canis
In very good condition, beautiful vintage ladies fur coat of wolf, size 42, lightly fitted.
3. an animal with a wolf-like appearance and tendencies
Coyote, (Canis latrans), also called prairie wolf or brush wolf, New World member of the dog family (Canidae) that is smaller and more lightly built than the wolf.
Serge Lariviere, “Coyote” ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’, www.britannica.com/animal/coyote-mammal, May 25, 2020
4. the larva of various moths, flies and beetles, that causes great destruction
Commonly called wolves or warbles, the larvae of the botfly is a nightmarish parasite that grows on or in the bodies of squirrels, rabbits and other mammals.
Alan Clemons, “What Are These Terrifying Hairless Tumors on Squirrels?” www.grandviewoutdoors.com/squirrel/what-are-these-terrifying-hairless-tumors-on-squirrels. December 6, 2018
5. one who is considered fierce, predatory or cruel
The wolf changes his coat, but not his disposition.
6. slang, a man who continuously makes sexual advances towards many women
A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.
Lana Turner, 1921 – 1995
7. a harsh, unpleasant sound produced by vibrations in some stringed instruments
An instrument must have resonances; it speaks easily if its resonances are large at all frequencies, but at what point does a valuable resonance become a wolf?
From “The Violin Explained: Components, Mechanism, and Sound” by Sir James Beament, 1921 – 2005
8. a harsh, unpleasant sound produced on a keyboard instrument
By and large, in composing music for meantone keyboards you avoided the wolf, so never, for example, wrote in the key of A flat.
Jan Swafford, “The Wolf at Our Heels”, ‘Slate’, www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2010/04/the_wolf_at_our_heels.html, April 20, 2010 10:08AM
1. to eat ravenously; to gulp down quickly
Wolfing down food can expand your waistline and take a toll on your heart, a new study from Japan suggests.
Cari Nierenberg, “Wolfing Down Meals May Lead to Weight Gain and Heart Woes”, ‘Live Science’, www.livescience.com/60923-eating-too-fat-heart-problems.html, November 13, 2017
2. to hunt for a wild canine known as a wolf
The year of 1875 and the spring of 1876 I passed wolfing and trading again in Montana.
From “The Vanguard” by Edgar Beecher Bronson, 1856 – 1917
From the Anglo-Saxon noun wulf.
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.