Lone wolf (trait)

A lone wolf is an animal that acts independently or generally lives or spends time alone instead of with a group. The term originates from wolf behavior. Normally a pack animal, wolves that have left or been excluded from their pack are described as lone wolves.

A lone wolf in winter hunts and fends for itself

A human lone wolf is an individual who acts independently and prefers to do things on their own, prefers solitude, expresses introversion, or works alone.[1][2][3] Synonyms include individualist, free spirit, and 'nonconformist'.[3] In literature[example needed], lone wolves are often aloof and emotionally unable or unwilling to directly interact with other characters in the story. A stereotypical lone wolf will be dark or serious in personality; they are often taciturn and distinguished by their reserved nature.


A lone wolf is a wolf that lives independently rather than with others as a member of a pack. Lone wolves are typically either older female wolves driven from the pack, perhaps by the breeding male, or young adults in search of new territory. Many young female wolves between the ages of one to four years old leave their family to search for a pack of their own. This has the effect of preventing inbreeding, as there is typically only one breeding pair in a wolf pack.

Very few wolves remain lone wolves[citation needed] Lone wolves have difficulty hunting the wolves' favorite prey: large ungulates, which are troublesome for a single wolf to bring down alone. Instead, lone wolves generally hunt smaller animals and scavenge carrion,[4] and scent mark their territory less frequently than other wolves.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Lone wolf – Define Lone wolf at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Definition of 'a lone wolf'". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Lone wolf". Oxford Dictionaries via Lexico. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  4. ^ Mech L.D., Adams L.G., Meier T.J., Burch J.W., Dale B.W. (1998) The Wolves of Denali. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis
  5. ^ Rothman, Russell J., and L. David Mech. "Scent-marking in lone wolves and newly formed pairs". Animal behaviour 27 (1979): 750-760.