- Archaic a mental disorder in which one imagines oneself to be a beast, esp. a wolf
- Folklore transformation of a person into a wolf or werewolf
Origin of lycanthropyModern Latin lycanthropia from Classical Greek lykanthr?pia: see lycanthrope
- In folklore, the magical ability to assume the form and characteristics of a wolf.
- A delusion that one has become or assumed the characteristics of a wolf or other animal.
The myth may originate from the disease lupus erythematosus, which causes those afflicted to grow extra hair and to shun sunlight. "Lupus" is Latin for "wolf".
From Ancient Greek Î»Ï…ÎºÎ±Î½Î¸ÏÏ‰Ï€Î¯Î± (lukanthrÅpia), from Î»Ï…ÎºÎ¬Î½Î¸ÏÏ‰Ï€Î¿Ï‚ (lukanthrÅpos).