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1. In folklore, the magical ability to assume the form and characteristics of a wolf.
2. A delusion that one has become or assumed the characteristics of a wolf or other animal.


1. (European Myth & Legend) the supposed magical transformation of a person into a wolf
2. (Psychiatry) psychiatry a delusion in which a person believes that he is a wolf
[C16: from Greek lukānthropía, from lukos wolf + anthrōpos man]
lycanthropic adj


(laɪˈkæn θrə pi)

1. a delusion in which one imagines oneself to be a wolf or other wild animal.
2. the supposed or fabled assumption by a human being of the appearance of a wolf.
[1575–85; < Greek]
ly•can•throp•ic (ˌlaɪ kənˈθrɒp ɪk) adj.


1. Psychiatry. Also called lycomania. a kind of insanity in which the patient believes himself to be a beast, especially a wolf.
2. the supposed or fabled assumption of the form of a wolf by a human being. — lycanthropic, adj.
See also: Wolves
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lycanthropy - (folklore) the magical ability of a person to assume the characteristics of a wolflycanthropy - (folklore) the magical ability of a person to assume the characteristics of a wolf
magical ability, magical power - an ability to perform magic
folklore - the unwritten lore (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture
References in periodicals archive ?
The practices of totemism, (3) lycanthropy, and shamanism, among others, reflect this understanding.
The recipes and relationships of The Changeling exhibit "the cosmological undercurrents of antipathies and sympathies" (26), and the experimentation and lycanthropy present in The Duchess of Malfi enters into the world of demonology.
The werewolves in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series present lycanthropy as disease, taking a scientific approach to the condition.
The project was inspired by a Jack Spicer poem, "Orfeo," as well as by a sixteenth-century news item about a man convicted of lycanthropy.
population has been infected with the lobos prion, which causes lycanthropy, a disease which turns humans into werewolves.
His latest book, The Iron Wolves of Elbe, is a hard-hitting yet lighthearted paranormal romance that offers a fresh new take on lycanthropy.
An eccentric New Orleans researcher has kept one locked in his basement freezer for forty years, trying to prevent an outbreak of lycanthropy.
Silence helps to bring the man/werewolf and woman together into a heteronormative relationship, thus curing Sangree's case of lycanthropy.
According to Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould's seminal work on lycanthropy and metempsychosis for badly damaged folk, 'The Book of Were-Wolves', published in 1865, I am doing fine at repressing my nature.
Especially in Nightwood, and in the last chapter adequately entitled "The Possessed," Robin's final and violent metamorphosis in the chapel into a dog is reminiscent of the myth of lycanthropy.
He takes the lycanthropy business so seriously that he has a couple of sharpened silver fingernails.
Witchcraft, Lycanthropy, Drugs and Disease: An Anthropological Study of the European Witch-Hunts.