Definition of elfin in English:


Line breaks: elfin
Pronunciation: /ˈɛlfɪn


  • 1(Of a person or their face) small and delicate, typically with a mischievous charm: her black hair suited her elfin face
    More example sentences
    • Vanessa sits cross-legged on her bed in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, a tiny, elfin figure with a striking, delicate face that looks as if it has been gently chiselled from creamy alabaster.
    • In another one of Random Acts's monologues, a petite, elfin woman in a peach sweater squares herself off at the confessor's table, and begins to talk with a slight southern lilt.
    • The tiny, elfin figure that is Canada's most lauded novelist is sipping cappuccino from a china cup in an opulent hotel lounge.
    elflike, elfish, elvish, pixie-like; puckish, impish, playful, mischievous; dainty, delicate, small, petite, slight, little, tiny, diminutive
  • 2Relating to elves: an enchanted world of fairies in elfin glades
    More example sentences
    • Well, I bring you a cautionary tale from the elfin handbook.
    • Still, she is relaxed, her elfin features creased in a permanent smile.
    • The elfin courses went to great lengths to outdo their competitors.


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  • 1 archaic An elf.
    More example sentences
    • And Yarthe was empty, but for the elfin, and the elfin quite naturally took it for theirs.
    • His clan was that of no other, contrary to the beliefs of all other races, Masheleec Urik conceived that the Duroug elfins were a striking image of some god, whose obligation it was to drive all other races to the brink of utter destruction.
    • A combative elfin gets a mission to snaffle a magic book in the country of Moria.
  • 2A small North American butterfly that is typically brownish with markings on the wing margins that give the impression of scalloped edges.
    • Genus Incisalia, family Lycaenidae


late 16th century: from elf, probably suggested by Middle English elvene 'of elves', and by Elphin, the name of a character in Arthurian romance.

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody