Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

elf

play
noun \ˈelf\

Simple Definition of elf

  • : a small creature in stories usually with pointed ears and magical powers

Full Definition of elf

plural elves play \ˈelvz\

  1. 1 :  a small often mischievous fairy

  2. 2 :  a small lively creature; also :  a usually lively mischievous or malicious person

elf·ish play \ˈel-fish\ adjective
elf·ish·ly adverb

Examples of elf

  1. <elves are often portrayed as rather mischievous>



Origin of elf

Middle English, from Old English ælf; akin to Old Norse alfr elf & perhaps to Latin albus white — more at alb


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with elf


ELF

abbreviation

Definition of ELF

  1. extremely low frequency




ELF Defined for Kids

elf

play
noun \ˈelf\

Definition of elf

plural elves \ˈelvz\

  1. :  an often mischievous fairy





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up elf? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders duvet pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ