[en] We present the results of an XMM-Newton observation of the field of the Wolf-Rayet star WR 40. Despite a nominal exposure of 20 ks and the high sensitivity of the satellite, the star itself is not detected: we thus derive an upper limit on its X-ray flux and luminosity. Joining this result to recent reports of a non-detection of some WC stars, we suggest that the X-ray emission from single normal Wolf-Rayet stars could often be insignificant despite remarkable instabilities in the wind. On the basis of a simple modelling of the opacity of the Wolf-Rayet wind of WR 40, we show that any X-ray emission generated in the particular zone where the shocks are supposed to be numerous will indeed have little chance to emerge from the dense wind of the Wolf-Rayet star. We also report the non-detection of the ejecta nebula RCW 58 surrounding WR 40. Concerning the field around these objects, we detected 33 X-ray sources, most of them previously unknown: we establish a catalog of these sources and cross-correlate it with catalogs of optical/infrared sources.