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[el-fish] /ˈɛl fɪʃ/
elflike; elfin; small and mischievous.
Also, elvish.
Origin of elfish
1535-45; alteration of elvish
Related forms
elfishly, adverb
elfishness, noun
prankish, impish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for elfish
Historical Examples
  • Back among some of his idle dreams there had been a Kitty, blue-eyed, black-haired, slender and elfish.

    The Voice in the Fog Harold MacGrath
  • A pair of elfish black eyes were fixed upon her in curious intent.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • The conscious, childish malice of her words twisted her lips into an elfish smile.

    The Sick-a-Bed Lady Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • "I don't like you," he said slowly, regarding the Hun, with his elfish eyes.

    War and the Weird Forbes Phillips
  • She was gazing up in the air, above all the traffic and roar of New York, with a happy smile on her elfish face.

    Madge Morton's Victory Amy D.V. Chalmers
  • She had been with him, smiling, elfish and tender one moment, and gone the next.

    The Black Opal Katharine Susannah Prichard
  • Instantly these underground chambers broke forth with wild, elfish voices that mimicked his merriment till it died on his lips.

    The Young Mountaineers Charles Egbert Craddock
  • At the moment it was lit up by an expression of elfish rage.

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant Alexander Johnstone Wilson
  • Tommy grinned, and rumpled his hair with an elfish look eminently unfitting a trustee.

    Mrs. Tree's Will Laura E. Richards
  • She had the look of a dryad at odds with the world, a whimsical and elfish intellectual.

    Dangerous Ages Rose Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for elfish


of, relating to, or like an elf or elves; charmingly mischievous or sprightly; impish
the supposed language of elves
Derived Forms
elfishly, elvishly, adverb
elfishness, elvishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elfish

c.1200, alvisc; see elf + -ish. Related: Elfishly; elfishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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