\ ˈelk How to pronounce elk (audio) \
plural elks

Definition of elk

1 plural usually elk
a : moose sense 1 used for one of the Old World
b : a large gregarious deer (Cervus elaphus) of North America, Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa with the male having large antlers and many tines and that often form large herds

Note: The North American elk is sometimes considered to constitute a separate species (C. canadensis).

called also red deer, wapiti

c : any of various large Asian deer
2 : soft tanned rugged leather
3 capitalized [Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks] : a member of a major benevolent and fraternal order

Examples of elk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From the small porch of the couple’s slice of land, a herd of elk could be seen resting in the distant prairie. NBC News, "'Your kind is not welcome': Homophobic confrontation sparks debate in Wyoming," 7 Dec. 2020 The herd’s population rebounded to 445 elk last year. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, "Another scuffle over Point Reyes elk population — this time over their water supply," 1 Sep. 2020 In the clip, a majestic elk stands atop a rocky terrains, its large antlers twisted to form a mysterious circular symbol. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Netflix Keeps The Magic Of The Grisha Alive In Mysterious New Trailer For Shadow & Bone," 17 Dec. 2020 The medium-sized elk was shot by a deer hunter on opening morning, the DNR said. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Minnesota deer opener was poor for harvest and CWD sampling," 12 Nov. 2020 Five hunters were selected to participate in the session that ran from Dec. 12 to Dec. 20, and all five reportedly harvested an elk. Michael Hollan, Fox News, "Every hunter in Missouri's first firearm elk hunt harvests a buck," 24 Dec. 2020 Behind him an enormous bear skin was stretched out on the wall next to the bust of a six-point elk. New York Times, "How Russia Wins the Climate Crisis," 16 Dec. 2020 Behind him an enormous bear skin was stretched out on the wall next to the bust of a six-point elk. Sergey Ponomarev, ProPublica, "The Big Thaw: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World," 16 Dec. 2020 As with last year, and every year, even more true for elk than deer, the best hunting is found the farthest from roads and human activity. oregonlive, "Oregon hunting preview 2020: What to know about wildfire damage, plus outlooks for big game, upland birds, waterfowl," 25 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elk.' 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 elk

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

History and Etymology for elk

Middle English, probably from Old English eolh; akin to Old High German elaho elk, Greek elaphos deer

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Time Traveler for elk

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for elk

Last Updated

3 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elk. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for elk



English Language Learners Definition of elk

US : a large kind of North American deer with big antlers
British : a European or Asian moose


\ ˈelk How to pronounce elk (audio) \

Kids Definition of elk

1 : a large deer of North America, Europe, and Asia with curved antlers having many branches
2 : the moose of Europe and Asia

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More from Merriam-Webster on elk

Nglish: Translation of elk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elk

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