You may encounter a vulpine smile, a vulpine movie director, or a vulpine laugh — whatever it is, be on guard. The word vulpine describes something that is crafty like a fox.

The word vulpine traces back to the word vulpes, the Latin word for “fox,” and the word can be used literally to describe something directly related to a fox. Nowadays, however, you’re more likely to hear it used to describe something that has the characteristics of a fox. Many cultures associate the fox with cunning and shrewdness, and the word vulpine has come to be used to describe something that has a crafty, intelligent, slightly predatory quality.

Definitions of vulpine

adj resembling or characteristic of a fox

vulpine cunning”

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.