Definition of vulpine in English:



  • 1Relating to a fox or foxes.

    ‘the thriving vulpine population’
    • ‘Having an interest in all things vulpine, I was immediately hooked, and deserted Mr Waley's book of translations in favour of this new find.’
    • ‘The case for banning fox hunting - vulpine anxiety, human emotions that are unattractive - is breathtakingly slight.’
    • ‘From his high forehead and shining, golden eyes to the long, glossy brush of his tail, his bearing and demeanor spoke of vulpine royalty.’
    • ‘Keepers haven't seen any vulpine intruders for several months in the 67-acre enclosure, but the penguins continue to be kept under lock and key for their own safety.’
    • ‘He cannot believe that no one has approached him about being Basil Brush's straight man when the vulpine glove puppet resurfaces on TV next year.’
    1. 1.1Crafty; cunning.
      ‘Karl gave a vulpine smile’
      • ‘The camera often lingers on Penn's face, vulpine in its haughty, unspoken anger and canine in its chronic defeat.’
      • ‘Starring the brusque and vulpine Vladimir Mashkov, Tycoon is an engaging product of the wild-and-crazy school of Eastern European filmmaking.’
      • ‘But, while she stares straight ahead - aloof, resigned - he diverts his gaze momentarily from the road to engage us with a look of such vulpine knowingness that we begin to wonder just what exactly he has in mind.’
      • ‘His vulpine and aggressive disposition is responsible for much of the film's finest moments.’
      • ‘The general public probably only vaguely recalls him as an edgy, vulpine presence in such 1960s fare as The Dirty Dozen and Rosemary's Baby.’
      crafty, wily, artful, guileful, devious, sly, knowing, scheming, designing, tricky, slippery, slick, manipulative, machiavellian, deceitful, deceptive, duplicitous, janus-faced
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Early 17th century: from Latin vulpinus, from vulpes fox.