Mauricio Pochettino's men were made to work for three points as Juan Foyth, on his maiden Premier League start, conceded two penalties from which Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez eroded a three-goal buffer.
But the visitors held on amid a nervy final 10 minutes to condemn the hosts to a third successive defeat.
Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura had earlier struck in three first-half minutes before Harry Kane netted what proved the winner just after the hour with his first goal in four league appearances.
The match started on a sour note for Tottenham with an ankle injury cutting short Mousa Dembele's 250th club appearance.
Son Heung-min was introduced and helped lift the mood, providing the pass from which Lamela punished sleepy marking in the 27th minute.
11 - Erik Lamela has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions for Spurs (8 goals, 3 assists). Thriving. pic.twitter.com/YIfTuAGg7q— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 3, 2018
Kieran Trippier delivered an even better assist less than three minutes later as his curling cross dropped perfectly for Lucas to head Spurs into a two-goal lead.
And everything seemed to be going their way when Jimenez had a goal ruled out for an incorrect offside flag against Matt Doherty.
The tide would have turned after the restart if not for Hugo Lloris, whose trio of fine saves took on extra significance as Kane fired in at the second attempt following Lamela's lead-up work.
Foyth's rash challenge in the box allowed Neves to finally beat Tottenham's skipper seven minutes later and the Argentine defender was at fault again 11 minutes from time, gifting Jimenez the final consolation after bundling over Jonny Castro Otto.
What does it mean? Wolves have reason for optimism
Nuno Espirito Santo will rue what was far from a deserved defeat as only a few losses of concentration cost his otherwise impressive and hard-working top 10 contenders.
Lloris leads Spurs to three points
He was twice beaten from the spot but Lloris deserves no small measure of praise for denying each of Jimenez, Neves and Helder Costa in a crucial period at the start of the second half.
Foyth's frustrating first start
It was a starting league debut to forget for centre-back Foyth as he single-handedly offered Wolves a way back into a match that seemed beyond their reach.
Key Opta Facts
- Tottenham have won 24 points from their 11 Premier League games this season, only in 2011-12 (25) have they picked up more at this stage of a single campaign in the competition.
- Wolves have won none of their last 25 Premier League matches against sides starting the day in the top half of the table (D10 L15).
- Tottenham's Harry Kane has scored 27 goals in his last 27 away Premier League games.
- Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves' penalty was his first league goal scored inside the box in English football, with his previous seven coming outside the box.