elf

noun
\ ˈelf \
plural elves\ ˈelvz \

Definition of elf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small often mischievous fairy
2 : a small lively creature also : a usually lively mischievous or malicious person

Definition of ELF (Entry 2 of 2)

extremely low frequency

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from elf

Noun

elfish \ ˈel-​fish \ adjective
elfishly adverb

Examples of elf in a Sentence

Noun

elves are often portrayed as rather mischievous

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dark magic is powerful, but its parasitic nature horrified the elves and dragons of the land who pushed humans into the west of the continent. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The Dragon Prince is influenced by Avatar: The Last Airbender in the best ways," 7 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile, illustrator Eugene Yelchin offers beautiful, woodcut-like drawings depicting Brangwain’s dispatches from the goblin kingdom, extracted from his thoughts and beamed back to the elves via a magic spell. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 In addition to elves and dwarves and imps there are also trolls and munchkins and leprechauns and a million other short-statured mystical characters. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "From ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘Disenchantment’," 11 Aug. 2018 Wearing red Santa's helper hats, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz got right to work for the New York Mets — as elves, handing out presents to school kids during the team's holiday party at Citi Field. Ben Walker, The Seattle Times, "Clad in Santa hats, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz are introduced as New York Mets," 4 Dec. 2018 New balloons and inflatables include Goku from Dragon Ball Super: Broly, elves from Netflix's The Christmas Chronicles, and Sunny the Snowpal, a new Macy's seasonal character. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 2018 Information and Event History," 21 Nov. 2018 Unlike the elf, this toy has no rules about who can touch him and when. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This New "Reindeer in Here" Toy Is the More Positive Version of Your Christmas Elf," 23 Oct. 2018 Posted to Mashable's CineFix channel, the combination of clever editing and a spooky soundtrack twist the story of a lovable elf named Buddy into something much more sinister. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Someone Recut The 'Elf' Trailer as a Creepy Thriller—And It's Hilarious," 27 Dec. 2016 The plight of the elves, for example, is filtered through Reyla, a gifted young woman who belongs to a coven of assassins. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The Dragon Prince is influenced by Avatar: The Last Airbender in the best ways," 7 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of elf

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for elf

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about elf

Statistics for elf

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elf

The first known use of elf was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for elf

elf

noun

English Language Learners Definition of elf

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

elf

noun
\ ˈelf \
plural elves\ ˈelvz \

Kids Definition of elf

: an often mischievous fairy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on elf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elf

Spanish Central: Translation of elf

Nglish: Translation of elf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elf for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elf

Comments on elf

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

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!