From Middle English elnen, from Old English elnian (“to emulate, endeavor to be equal, be zealous, strive with zeal after another, make strong, strengthen, comfort oneself, gain strength”), from Proto-Germanic *aljanōną (“to strengthen, encourage”), from Proto-Indo-European *al- (“to burn”). Cognate with Old High German ellinōn (“to emulate, strive”), Icelandic elna (“to grow stronger”), Gothic [script?] (aljanon, “to emulate”). See ellen.
- Alternative form of ellen.