Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks

See under elk ( def 4 ). Unabridged


noun, plural elks (especially collectively) elk for 1, 2.
Also called European elk. the moose, Alces alces.
Also called American elk, wapiti. a large North American deer, Cervus canadensis, the male of which has large, spreading antlers.
a pliable leather used for sport shoes, made originally of elk hide but now of calfskin or cowhide tanned and smoked to resemble elk hide.
(initial capital letter) a member of a fraternal organization (Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks) that supports or contributes to various charitable causes.

before 900; Middle English; Old English eolc, eolh; cognate with German Elch (Old High German el(a)ho), Latin alcēs, Greek álkē Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
elk (ɛlk)
n , pl elks, elk
1.  a large deer, Alces alces, of N Europe and Asia, having large flattened palmate antlers: also occurs in North America, where it is called a moose
2.  American elk another name for wapiti
3.  a stout pliable waterproof leather made from calfskin or horsehide
[Old English eolh; related to Old Norse elgr, Old High German elaho, Latin alcēs, Greek alkē, elaphos deer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late O.E., from O.N. elgr or O.E. elh, eolh, or possibly M.H.G. elch, all from P.Gmc. *elkh-, related to the general word for "deer" in Gk. and Balto-Slavic, from PIE *ol-/*el- "red, brown" (in animal and tree names) perhaps with reference to the reddish color (cf. Skt. harina- "deer," from hari- "reddish-brown").
Gk. alke and L. alces are Gmc. loan-words. Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks founded N.Y.C. 1868, originally a society of actors and writers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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