Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
feed (someone) to the wolves
To sacrifice someone to ruin, destruction, or hostility from others, especially for one's own benefit or survival. He cares nothing for the people he works with and is willing to feed them to the wolves if it means his stock might increase a bit. In the face of the scandal, the administration has been feeding to the wolves anyone they can use to deflect blame from themselves.
1. Someone who does not seek or like the company of others. Shannon should have known Brad would break her heart—he's a lone wolf who doesn't like getting close to anybody. A: "Does he have any friends at school?" B: "No, I think he's a lone wolf."
2. A terrorist who acts alone or independently of a larger group when carrying out an attack. The attack was carried out by another lone wolf who had no affiliation with terror groups but was inspired by radical postings online.
raised by wolves
A set phrase said of one who seems particularly uncouth and/or socially inept. Why are you eating spaghetti with your hands? Were you raised by wolves? He's so rude, it's like he was raised by wolves!
throw (one) to the wolves
To put one in the position to be the recipient of blame, trouble, or criticism, often that which was intended for oneself. Tommy was caught with the marijuana in his backpack, but he threw me to the wolves and said it was mine. Our manager never hesitates to throw an underling to the wolves when something goes wrong in the office.
wolf at the/(one's) door
1. A creditor or moneylender looking for repayment. I've had the wolves at my door ever since I took out that idiotic payday loan a year ago. With so many wolves at our door, I think I need to get a better paying job soon.
2. Any impending or imminent source of danger, disaster, or ruin. This market trend is becoming wildly unsustainable and erratic, and this wolf at the door could threaten to plunge us into another recession. That country is not our ally—it is a wolf at our door, waiting for its opportunity to strike.
the wolf is at the/(one's) door
1. Someone or something is facing imminent financial ruin or difficulty. Often used in plural constructions. The wolves have been at my door for so long that I don't really remember what it's like to not be on the verge of bankruptcy. As the economy continues to struggle, the wolf is at the door for many small businesses around the country.
2. Some danger, threat, or calamity imminent or at hand. Often used in plural constructions. Our nation is facing unprecedented threats from all over the world. The wolves are at our door, and we need to be prepared to confront them. I fear that when it comes to climate change, the wolf is already at the door.
throw someone to the wolves
Fig. to sacrifice someone to save the rest; to abandon someone to harm. (Fig. on the image of giving one person to the wolves to eat so the rest can get away.) Don't try to throw me to the wolves. I'll tell the truth about the whole affair! The investigation was going to be rigorous and unpleasant, and I could see they were going to throw someone to the wolves.
A person who prefers to do without the company or assistance of others. For example, Her nursery school teacher described Beth as a lone wolf, an assessment her parents found astonishing . This expression alludes to the tendency of some species of wolf to hunt alone rather than in packs. [c. 1900]
throw to the wolves
Also, throw to the dogs or lions . Send to a terrible fate; sacrifice someone, especially so as to save oneself. For example, Leaving him with hostile reporters was throwing him to the wolves, or If Bob doesn't perform as they expect, they'll throw him to the lions. All three hyperbolic terms allude to the ravenous appetite of these animals, which presumably will devour the victim. The first term comes from Aesop's fable about a nurse who threatens to throw her charge to the wolves if the child does not behave. [First half of 1900s]
throw someone to the wolves
If someone throws you to the wolves, they allow you to be criticized severely or treated badly, and they do not try to protect you. Being released into the general prison population was like being thrown to the wolves. Suddenly, aged 23, he was thrown to the wolves, and made to answer very personal and deeply insulting questions by a pack of journalists. Compare with throw someone to the lions.
lone wolfa person who prefers to act alone.
throw someone to the wolvesleave someone to be roughly treated or criticized without trying to help or defend them. informal
This phrase probably arose in reference to tales about packs of wolves pursuing travellers in horse-drawn sleighs, in which one person was pushed off the sleigh to allow it to go faster, so enabling the others to make their escape.
1958 Listener This able and agreeable doctor was thrown to the wolves by a Prime Minister who had good reason to know that his own position was desperate.
throw somebody to the ˈwolves/ˈlionsallow somebody to be attacked or remain in a difficult situation, perhaps because they are no longer useful or important to you: When he became politically unpopular the rest of his party just threw him to the wolves. OPPOSITE: save somebody’s bacon
n. a man who stays to himself. Fred is sort of a lone wolf until he has a few drinks.