From Middle English *elk, from Old English eolc, eolh (“elk”), from Proto-Germanic *elhaz, *algiz (“elk”) (cf. Low German Elk, German Elch), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁élḱis, *h₁ólḱis (cf. Polish łoś, Russian лось (losʹ), Sanskrit ṛśyas ‘antelope’), variant of *h₁elh₁én (compare German Elen, Tocharian A/B yäl/ylem ‘gazelle’, Lithuanian élnis ‘stag’, Armenian եղնիկ (eɫnik) ‘doe, hind’).
elk (plural elk or archaic, elks)
- (UK) The largest member of the deer family (Alces alces); a moose.
- (North America) The common wapiti (Cervus canadensis); the second largest member of the deer family, smaller only than a moose. Elk never have flat antlers; moose do.
- Rhymes: -ɛlk