elf·​in | \ ˈel-fən How to pronounce elfin (audio) \

Definition of elfin

1a : of, relating to, or produced by an elf
b : resembling an elf especially in its tiny size elfin portions
2 : having an otherworldly or magical quality or charm

Examples of elfin in a Sentence

They were delighted with the child's elfin charm. the heroine in the story has an elfin beauty that men find irresistible
Recent Examples on the Web Precisely the sorts of things that a federal coronavirus task force and its elfin leader should be focused on, in other words. Libby Watson, The New Republic, 15 May 2020 Before leading me on a tour of the outdoor sets and soundstages, Logan, an elfin presence with a demeanor that splits the difference between fanatical and very nice, greeted me at his office in a repurposed hacienda. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2020 The elfin Smart car made a noble stab at our market, but is leaving it while remaining in Europe. Tom Voelk, New York Times, 4 Mar. 2020 Advocates say the change, which the agency wants to make permanent, softens protections for the New England cottontail, golden eagle, frosted elfin butterfly and other animals along with some that are subject to separate federal protections. USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2020 Cunningham was easily both, and Bozek’s film—narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker—captures both his artistry and his fizzy, elfin charm. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 14 Feb. 2020 The road winds up the mountain through the elfin forest of red shank ribbonwood that were carpeting the hills with a pale yellow-green hue from the tiny blossoms on the plant. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Sep. 2019 The new story follows three elfin Gelflings who discover the horrifying secret behind the malevolent Skeksis’ power. Mark Dawidziak, cleveland.com, 24 Aug. 2019 Over his nearly five decades with the Spurs, Pete Anton Sr., an elfin figure in a sport of giants, was a constant, delightful presence. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, 24 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of elfin

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for elfin

irregular from elf

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Dictionary Entries Near elfin

El Ferrol



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Cite this Entry

“Elfin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elfin. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for elfin



English Language Learners Definition of elfin

: having to do with elves : looking like an elf


elf·​in | \ ˈel-fən How to pronounce elfin (audio) \

Kids Definition of elfin

: relating to elves

More from Merriam-Webster on elfin

Nglish: Translation of elfin for Spanish Speakers


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