Student Dictionary

One entry found for werewolf.
Main Entry: were·wolf
Pronunciation: primarystresswi(schwa)r-secondarystresswudotlf, primarystresswe(schwa)r-, primarystresswschwar-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural were·wolves /-secondarystresswudotlvz/
Etymology: Old English werwulf "werewolf," from wer "man" and wulf "wolf"
: a person changed or able to change into a wolf
Word History Many countries have legends about people who changed into savage wolflike creatures. Often these people were thought to keep their human shape during the day. At night, however, they were transformed into hungry monsters that killed and then ate their human victims. A full moon was sometimes seen as the force that turned people into werewolves. People who changed into these monsters were thought to have inherited the condition or to have been bitten by another werewolf. No one is sure how these stories got started or why so many different groups of people believed in them. We are sure, though, that Modern English werewolf comes from Old English werwulf, a compound of wer, meaning "man," and wulf, "wolf."

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