oliphaunt

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English oliphaunt, olifaunt, from Old French olifant, from Latin elephantus; see elephant for more information.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

oliphaunt ‎(plural oliphaunts)

  1. (archaic and historical) elephant
    • 1523, John Skelton, “A ryght delectable treatyse upon a goodly garlande or chapelet of laurell” in Poetical Works of John Skelton, 1853, p 365:
      The gander, the gose, and the hudge oliphaunt, / Went with the pecok ageyne the fesaunt;
    • 1876,
      ?, William Curry, Jun. & Co, The Dublin university magazine: Volume 88:
      His mugge so Taste and wide, I wel opine,
      An oliphaunt he might have swallow'd[.]
    • 1954, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (second volume of The Lord of the Rings), Random House (1982), ISBN 978-0-345-33971-3, page 283:
      ‘Were there any oliphaunts?’ asked Sam, forgetting his fear in his eagerness for news of strange places.

Usage notes[edit]