20 Wolf Idioms in English

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In the vast realm of English idioms, animal-related phrases often carry rich meanings and fascinating histories. Among these, wolf idioms are particularly evocative, conjuring images of the wild and symbolizing various aspects of human behavior and life situations. Here, we explore 20 wolf idioms, and their meanings, and provide example sentences to illustrate their usage.

Wolf Idioms

1. Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Meaning: Deceptive person hiding harmful intent.

Example: He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing at work.

2. Lone wolf

Meaning: Someone who acts independently.

Example: Mike is a lone wolf at the office.

3. Cry wolf

Meaning: Falsely claim distress.

Example: She cried wolf once too often.

4. Keep the wolf from the door

Meaning: Avoid extreme poverty.

Example: His job keeps the wolf from the door.

5. Throw to the wolves

Meaning: Abandon someone to criticism.

Example: He was thrown to the wolves unfairly.

6. Wolf down

Meaning: Eat something very rapidly.

Example: He wolfed down his dinner quickly.

7. A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Meaning: Someone who pretends to be friendly.

Example: Beware; she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

8. Run with the wolves

Meaning: Associate with wild or reckless people.

Example: She loves to run with the wolves.

9. Wolf at the door

Meaning: A threat or problem is imminent.

Example: Financial troubles are the wolf at the door.

10. Lead a wolf by the ears

Meaning: Manage a dangerous situation.

Example: He’s leading a wolf by the ears.

11. The wolf changes his coat, not his disposition

Meaning: People’s nature doesn’t change.

Example: He’s the same, wolf’s coat or not.

12. Howl with the wolves

Meaning: Conform to others’ bad behavior.

Example: At night, he howls with the wolves.

13. A wolf in the fold

Meaning: An enemy within the group.

Example: There’s a wolf in the fold here.

14. Feed the wolf

Meaning: Address or mitigate a problem.

Example: It’s time to feed the wolf, indeed.

15. Between a wolf and a dog

Meaning: Between two similar, confusing things.

Example: It’s between a wolf and a dog.

16. Make a wolf of the dog

Meaning: Make someone more savage.

Example: Don’t make a wolf of the gentle dog.

17. Wolf’s eyes

Meaning: To view with suspicion.

Example: He regarded the deal with wolf’s eyes.

18. Outrun the wolf

Meaning: Escape financial difficulties.

Example: He’s trying to outrun the wolf now.

19. Sleep with one eye open like a wolf

Meaning: Be extremely cautious.

Example: In this job, sleep like a wolf.

20. The sea-wolf

Meaning: An experienced sailor.

Example: He’s a real sea-wolf now, truly.

Related: 20 Dog Idioms in English

Wolf Idioms


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