late 14c., used of several diseases that cause ulcerations of the skin, from Medieval Latin lupus, from Latin lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)), apparently because it "devours" the affected part. As the name of a southern constellation representing a wolf, by 1706.
also lupine, flowering plant of the genus Lupinus, late 14c., from Latin lupinus, the name of the plant, a noun use of an adjective meaning "of a wolf," from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)). The reason for the name is unclear; perhaps the plant was so called because of a belief that it was harmful to soil (compare lupus in the "wasting disease" sense), but in modern Europe it was regarded as useful and valued for improving sandy soil. In Portugal it was used to choke out weeds.
large gray wolf of the U.S. southwest, 1859, from Spanish lobo "a wolf," from Latin lupus (see wolf (n.)).
"wolf-like," 1650s, from French lupin "wolf-like; vicious, ferocious," from Latin lupinus "of the wolf" (source also of Spanish and Italian lupino), from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)).
Roman festival held Feb. 15 in honor of Lupercus a god (identified with Lycean Pan, hence regarded as a protective divinity of shepherds) who had a grotto at the foot of the Palatine Hill, from Latin Lupercalia (plural), from Lupercalis "pertaining to Lupercus," whose name derives from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)). The ceremony is regarded as dating from distant antiquity. Related: Lupercalian.
African wild cat, a name applied in zoology to various wild cats since 1771, from Modern Latin serval, French serval (Buffon, 1765), from Portuguese (lobo) cerval "lynx," from Latin lupus cervarius (source of French loup cervier) "lynx," etymologically "wolf that hunts the stag," from cervarius "pertaining to a stag," from cervus "stag," from PIE *ker-wo- "having horns," suffixed form of root *ker- (1) "horn; head." The actual animals eat small things like rodents and birds. Related: Servaline (adj.)
late 14c., "type of facial ulcer, lupus," Latin, literally "touch me not," from noli, imperative of nolle "to be unwilling" + me (see me) + tangere "to touch" (from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle"). Used over the years of various persons or things that must not be touched, especially "picture of Jesus as he appeared to Mary Magdalene" (1670s, see John xx.17) and "plant of the genus Impatiens" (1560s, so called because the ripe seed pods burst when touched).
largest of the Solomon Islands, discovered 1568 by Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira and named for his hometown in Spain. The place name contains the Spanish form of Arabic wadi "river" which occurs in other Spanish place names (such as Guadalajara, from Arabic Wadi Al-Bajara "River of the Stones," either a parallel formation to or ultimately a translation of the ancient Iberian name for the river that gave the place its earlier name, based on caruca "stony;" Guadalquivir, from Arabic Al-Wadi Al-Kabir "Big River;" and Guadalupe, from the Arabic river word and the Roman name of the river, Lupus, literally "wolf").
Old English wulf "wolf, wolfish person, devil," from Proto-Germanic *wulfaz (source also of Old Saxon wulf, Old Norse ulfr, Old Frisian, Dutch, Old High German, German wolf, Gothic wulfs), from PIE root *wlkwo- "wolf" (source also of Sanskrit vrkas, Avestan vehrka-; Albanian ul'k; Old Church Slavonic vluku; Russian volcica; Lithuanian vilkas "wolf;" Old Persian Varkana- "Hyrcania," district southeast of the Caspian Sea, literally "wolf-land;" probably also Greek lykos, Latin lupus).
This manne can litle skyl ... to saue himself harmlesse from the perilous accidentes of this world, keping ye wulf from the doore (as they cal it). ["The Institution of a Gentleman," 1555]
Probably extinct in England from the end of the 15th century; in Scotland from the early 18th. Wolves as a symbol of lust are ancient, such as Roman slang lupa "whore," literally "she-wolf" (preserved in Spanish loba, Italian lupa, French louve). The equation of "wolf" and "prostitute, sexually voracious female" persisted into 12c., but by Elizabethan times wolves had become primarily symbolic of male lust. The specific use of wolf for "sexually aggressive male" first recorded 1847; wolf-whistle attested by 1945, American English, at first associated with sailors. The image of a wolf in sheep's skin is attested from c. 1400. See here for a discussion of "wolf" in Indo-European history. The wolf-spider so called for prowling and leaping on its prey rather than waiting in a web.