(Old English werewulf,"man-wolf"), according to an ancient
superstition, a man who is transformed, or who transforms
himself, into a wolf
in nature and appearance. The werewolf, sometimes transformed
under the influence of a full moon,
roams about at night, devouring infants or corpses. Stories
of such transformations are given in the works of several
classical writers and the superstition was common throughout
Europe in late medieval times, when many men were accused
and convicted of being werewolves. The term lycanthropy
refers to the delusion that one has become a wolf.
Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001 http://encarta.msn.com
© 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.