elf

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See also: Elf and ELF

English[edit]

An elf drawn by Piedachu Peris

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English elf, from Old English ielf, ælf, from Proto-West Germanic *albi, from Proto-Germanic *albiz. Ultimately probably derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₂elbʰós (white). Doublet of oaf.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: ĕlf, IPA(key): /ɛlf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlf

Noun[edit]

elf (plural elves)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
  1. (Norse mythology) A luminous spirit presiding over nature and fertility and dwelling in the world of Álfheim (Elfland). Compare angel, nymph, fairy.
  2. Any from a race of mythical, supernatural beings resembling but seen as distinct from human beings. They are usually delicate-featured and skilled in magic or spellcrafting; sometimes depicted as clashing with dwarves, especially in modern fantasy literature.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 281:
      All the fairy tales of my childhood were conjured up before my startled imagination, and appeared to be realised in the forms which surrounded me; I saw the whole forest filled with trolls, elves, and sporting dwarfs.
  3. (fantasy) Any of the magical, typically forest-guarding races bearing some similarities to the Norse álfar (through Tolkien's Eldar).
  4. A very diminutive person; a dwarf.
  5. (South Africa) The bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix).

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for elf in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (supernatural creature): See goblin (hostile); fairy (small, mischievous)

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Arabic: إِلْف(ʾilf)
  • Dutch: elf
  • French: elfe
  • German: Elf, Elfe
  • Japanese: エルフ (erufu)
  • Korean: 엘프 (elpeu)

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

elf (third-person singular simple present elfs, present participle elfing, simple past and past participle elfed)

  1. (now rare) To twist into elflocks (of hair); to mat.
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, King Lear
      My face I'll grime with filth, blanket my loins, elf all my hairs in knots, and with presented nakedness outface the winds and persecutions of the sky.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Marshall Jones Company (1930). Mythology of All Races Series, Volume 2 Eddic, Great Britain: Marshall Jones Company, 1930, pp. 220-221.

Anagrams[edit]


Afrikaans[edit]

Afrikaans cardinal numbers
 <  10 11 12  > 
    Cardinal : elf
    Ordinal : elfde

Etymology[edit]

From Dutch elf, from Middle Dutch ellef, elf, from Old Dutch *ellef, from Proto-Germanic *ainalif.

Pronunciation[edit]

Numeral[edit]

elf

  1. eleven

Catalan[edit]

Noun[edit]

elf m (plural elfs)

  1. elf

Czech[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

elf m

  1. elf

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • elf in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
  • elf in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch ellef, elf, from Old Dutch *ellef, from Proto-Germanic *ainalif, a compound of *ainaz and *-lif. Compare German elf, West Frisian alve, English eleven, Danish elleve.

Numeral[edit]

Dutch numbers (edit)
 ←  10 11 12  → 
    Cardinal: elf
    Ordinal: elfde

elf

  1. eleven

Noun[edit]

elf f (plural elven, diminutive elfje n)

  1. The number eleven, or a representation thereof.
Descendants[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from German Elf, itself borrowed from English elf, from Old English ælf, from Proto-West Germanic *albi, from Proto-Germanic *albiz. Displaced native alf, from the same Germanic source.

Noun[edit]

elf m (plural elfen or elven, diminutive elfje n, feminine elve or elfin)

  1. elf, brownie (small folkloric creature)
  2. (fantasy) elf (humanoid pointy-eared creature in fantasy)
Synonyms[edit]
  • (mythical being): alf
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Papiamentu: èlfye (from the diminutive)

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch Low Saxon[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Low German, from Middle Low German elvene, from Old Saxon ellevan. Related to German elf.

Numeral[edit]

elf

  1. eleven (11)

German[edit]

German cardinal numbers
 <  10 11 12  > 
    Cardinal : elf
    Ordinal : elfte

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German eilf, eilef, einlif, from Old High German einlif, from Proto-Germanic *ainalif, a compound of *ainaz and *-lif. Until the 19th century usually written eilf; the monophthongal form is of Central and Low German origin (Middle Low German elf). Compare Dutch elf, West Frisian alve, English eleven, Danish elleve.

Pronunciation[edit]

Numeral[edit]

elf

  1. eleven

Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • elf” in Duden online

German Low German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Low German elvene, from Old Saxon ellevan.

Numeral[edit]

elf

  1. eleven

Maltese[edit]

Maltese numbers (edit)
10000
1,000
100
    Cardinal: elf

Etymology[edit]

From Arabic أَلْف(ʾalf).

Pronunciation[edit]

Numeral[edit]

elf m or f (dual elfejn, plural eluf or elufijiet, paucal elef)

  1. thousand

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English elf, Anglian form of ælf, from Proto-West Germanic *albi, from Proto-Germanic *albiz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂elbʰós (white).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

elf (plural elves)

  1. elf, fairy
    • c. 1450, Wars of Alexander[1], Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, passus 24, line 5258:
      Scho was so faire & so fresche · as faucon hire semed, / An elfe out of an-othire erde · or ellis an Aungell
      She was so fair and beautiful; her elegance seemed like / An elf out of another world, or else an angel.
    • c. 1450, “The Second Shepherds' Play”, in The Towneley Plays[2], Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, line 616:
      he was takyn with an elfe / I saw it myself / when the clok stroke twelf / was he forshapyn
      He was taken by an elf; I saw it myself. / When the clock struck twelve, he was transfigured.
  2. spirit, shade

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • English: elf (see there for further descendants)
  • Scots: elf
  • Yola: elf

References[edit]


Pennsylvania German[edit]

Pennsylvania German cardinal numbers
 <  10 11 12  > 
    Cardinal : elf
    Ordinal : elft

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Rhine Franconian, from Old High German einlif. Compare German elf, Dutch elf, English eleven.

Numeral[edit]

elf

  1. eleven

Polish[edit]

Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl

Etymology[edit]

From German Elf.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

elf m anim

  1. elf (mythical or fantasy creature)

Declension[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

The plural for the Tolkien creatures is usually elfowie.

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • elf in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • elf in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French elfe.

Noun[edit]

elf m (plural elfi)

  1. elf

Declension[edit]


Yola[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English elf, from Old English ielf, from Proto-West Germanic *albi.

Noun[edit]

elf (plural elvès)

  1. fairy

References[edit]

  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith