Meaning of dire wolf in English:

dire wolf


  • A large extinct wolf of the Pleistocene epoch, which preyed on large mammals.

    Canis dirus, family Canidae

    ‘Among this group, the extinct dire wolf (a giant relative of living wolves) claimed the most powerful bite force relative to its size.’
    • ‘Against the blue of a mountain range - the same profile of peaks I could see from Grandview - were vultures, mammoths, dire wolves, La Brea camels, saber-toothed cats, and giant ground sloths.’
    • ‘The figures at the top left and bottom right are dire wolves, extinct relatives of wolves and dogs.’
    • ‘It is likely that the bone-modifying behaviors of dire wolves were intermediate between those of extant wolves and spotted hyenas.’
    • ‘In the Pleistocene, gray wolves shared the region with C. dirus, the dire wolf.’


Dire in the sense ‘threatening’, translating the modern Latin taxonomic name.