élan was our Word of the Day on 08/10/2017. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of élan in a Sentence
The dancer performed with great élan.
Recent Examples of élan from the Web
The dominant Brazilian team of the late '50s and early '60's; the elan and flair of Les Bleus in France '98, and Spain's victorious tiki-taka exponents.
Directed with elan by Dawn M. Simmons and featuring buoyantly propulsive choreography by Jean Appolon.
While champagne is always appropriate for a Royal Wedding watch, cocktails provide a certain elan that's appropriately British.
When given good and specific performances to play off of — like FitzGerald's unreadable and weary wisdom or Daniyar's broadly played ethnic elan — Purnell radiates a receptiveness that works despite Tess barely having characteristics of her own.
For more than a century, from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 to Millennium Park, Chicago has demonstrated the capacity to think big and execute with elan.
With wit and elan to spare, Greene expatiates on the intrigue that ensues when David Sparsholt, an engineering student with a fiancée, Connie, and a plan to join the Royal Air Force, arrives at Oxford in 1940.
Other pianists, young and old, may produce more keyboard accuracy and technical elan, but few convey the spirit and sensibility of pre-jazz and early jazz idioms as authentically as Helfer.
Paired with oversized Swarovski jewels and a punky new hair cut [link to beauty story], her latest outfit lends Parisienne elan a new attitude.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'élan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Once upon a time, English speakers did not have "élan" (the word, that is; that's not to say we haven't always had potential for vigorous spirit). We had, however, "elance," a verb meaning "to hurl" that was used specifically for throwing lances and darts. "Elance" derived down the line from Middle French (s')eslancer ("to rush or dash"), itself from lancer, meaning "to hurl." With the decline of lance-throwing, we tossed out "elance" a century and half ago. Just about that time we found "élan," a noun that traces to "(s')eslancer." We copied "élan" in form from the French, but we dispensed with the French sense of a literal "rush" or "dash," retaining the sense of enthusiastic animation that we sometimes characterize as "dash."
ÉLAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of élan for English Language Learners
: energy and enthusiasm
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up élan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).