There are 2 main definitions of elf in English:

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elf1

Line breaks: elf
Pronunciation: /ɛlf
 
/

noun (plural elves /ɛlvz/)

A supernatural creature of folk tales, typically represented as a small, delicate, elusive figure in human form with pointed ears, magical powers, and a capricious nature: birthmarks were thought to be bruises left by elves with his pointed chin, he might have been an elf out of story-land
More example sentences
  • There is a group of elves or goblins or aliens or something who show up as I'm drifting off.
  • Legend tells it that it was dragons that first taught humans and elves how to use magic.
  • For a start, it is in a little house in the woodland beside the hotel, leading me to suspect that the staff would be elves and pixies.
Synonyms

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to German Alp 'nightmare'.

More
  • An Old English word related to German Alp ‘nightmare’. Elves were formerly thought of as more frightening than they are now: dwarfish beings that produced diseases, caused nightmares, and stole children, substituting changelings in their place. Later they became more like fairies, dainty and unpredictable, and in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien ( 1892–1973) they are noble and beautiful. Originally an elf was specifically a male being, the female being an elven: Tolkien revived elven and used it to mean ‘relating to elves’. Elfin, meaning ‘relating to elves’ and also used to describe a small, delicate person with a mischievous charm, was first used by Edmund Spenser in The Faerie Queene ( 1590–96). See also oaf

Derivatives

elfish

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • A few bars later the bassist, a dark-skinned woman whose diminutive frame seemed elfish in comparison to the guitarist's basketball player height, picked up her instrument and joined in.
  • Willow was inches from my face now, and I could see the fragile black lashes that framed her doe-eyes, and count the tiny freckles that dotted her elfish nose.
  • Shifting slightly against her, he began to nibble her elfish ear.

elven

2
adjective ( literary )
Example sentences
  • The girl blocked and attacked in an elven style she had learned from some Elves.
  • Among these, six men and women of human or elven blood would be future demigods.
  • The twilight elf looked impassive as three elven women stepped into the evening light.

elvish

3
adjective
Example sentences
  • Feeling the elvish magic flicker slightly, he closed his eyes once more, controlling the sphere's trajectory as it slowly climbed in the air until it hovered just over the incredibly tall wall.
  • Every year, he travels with a different wild elven tribe, blessing all things elvish he comes in contact with.
  • She stared at it, then looked back up at the elf and said quietly in elvish, ‘Thank you.’

Definition of elf in:

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There are 2 main definitions of elf in English:

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ELF2

Line breaks: ELF
Pronunciation: /ɛlf
 
/

abbreviation

Extremely low frequency.

Definition of elf in:

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