\ 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

Among the changes are a proposal to allow hunters in Western Oregon to take any buck with a visible antler instead of the current forked-horn rule, and a new general season cow elk damage tag. oregonlive.com, "Monroe: Ocean fishing has vastly improved this summer," 6 July 2019 Still others wonder whether the legs are the equivalent of an elk’s rack—a weapon for fending off rivals. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Thorny devils grow giant legs to pin rivals," 25 June 2019 The hall of mammals had sixteen permanent exhibits, which included buffalo, elk, white tail deer, raccoon, badger, red wolf, coyotes and many others. Dallas News, "Is the Dallas Museum of Natural History at Fair Park open to the public? Curious Texas investigates," 21 June 2019 The numbers of Sierra bighorn sheep, elk, mountain lions, bears, waterfowl, whales, otters and bald eagles are at 50-year highs. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "California hunters face nation’s first lead ammo ban," 16 June 2019 These winding roads will lead you through sublime vistas and past abundant wildlife, including elk, bison, grizzlies, black bear, pronghorn antelope, moose, and bighorn sheep. Niloufer Venkatraman, National Geographic, "6 can’t-miss stops in Yellowstone National Park," 13 June 2019 The environmental organization has also raised concerns about oil and gas development in Colorado sage-grouse, elk, mule deer and pronghorn habitat. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "State to ask Colorado BLM to defer action on some oil, gas leases proposed in wildlife habitat," 10 June 2019 Reason to visit: bison marrow bones, bison tongue crostini, bison ribs and game selections, including elk and quail. Larry Olmsted, USA TODAY, "Pair game meat and period cocktails in Colorado," 13 June 2018 My father expects to get an elk every year and always does, with his rifle. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "You Could Live Here Alone Forever," 11 Jan. 2017

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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Statistics for elk

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for elk

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elk

Spanish Central: Translation of elk

Nglish: Translation of elk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elk for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elk

Comments on elk

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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