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elves

[elvz] /ɛlvz/
noun
1.
plural of elf.

elf

[elf] /ɛlf/
noun, plural elves
[elvz] /ɛlvz/ (Show IPA)
1.
(in folklore) one of a class of preternatural beings, especially from mountainous regions, with magical powers, given to capricious and often mischievous interference in human affairs, and usually imagined to be a diminutive being in human form; sprite; fairy.
2.
a diminutive person, especially a child.
3.
a mischievous person, especially a child.
Origin of elf
1000
before 1000; Middle English, back formation from elven, Old English elfen nymph (i.e., female elf), variant of ælfen; see elfin
Related forms
elflike, adjective
Synonyms
1. See fairy.

elve

[elv] /ɛlv/
noun
1.
an extremely dim, flattened, expanding, reddish glow briefly seen over a thunderstorm, due to electromagnetic pulses from intense lightning.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for elves
British Dictionary definitions for elves

elves

/ɛlvz/
noun
1.
the plural of elf

elf

/ɛlf/
noun (pl) elves (ɛlvz)
1.
(in folklore) one of a kind of legendary beings, usually characterized as small, manlike, and mischievous
2.
a mischievous or whimsical child
Derived Forms
elflike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ælf; related to Old Norse elfr elf, Middle Low German alf incubus, Latin albus white

ELF

abbreviation
1.
extremely low frequency
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 elves

elf

n.

"one of a race of powerful supernatural beings in Germanic folklore," Old English elf (Mercian, Kentish), ælf (Northumbrian), ylfe (plural, West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *albiz (cf. Old Saxon alf, Old Norse alfr, German alp "evil spirit, goblin, incubus"), origin unknown, possibly from PIE *albho- "white." Used figuratively for "mischievous person" from 1550s.

In addition to elf/ælf (masc.), Old English had parallel form *elfen (fem.), the plural of which was *elfenna, -elfen, from Proto-Germanic *albinjo-. Both words survived into Middle English and were active there, the former as elf (with the vowel of the plural), plural elves, the latter as elven, West Midlands dialect alven (plural elvene).

The Germanic elf originally was dwarfish and malicious (cf. Old English ælfadl "nightmare," ælfsogoða "hiccup," thought to be caused by elves); in the Middle Ages they were confused to some degree with faeries; the more noble version begins with Spenser. Nonetheless a popular component in Anglo-Saxon names, many of which survive as modern given names and surnames, cf. Ælfræd "Elf-counsel" (Alfred), Ælfwine "Elf-friend" (Alvin), Ælfric "Elf-ruler" (Eldridge), also women's names such as Ælfflæd "Elf-beauty." Elf Lock hair tangled, especially by Queen Mab, "which it was not fortunate to disentangle" [according to Robert Nares' glossary of Shakespeare] is from 1592.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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elves in Science
elve
  (ělv)   
An extremely dim, short-lived, expanding disk of reddish light above thunderstorms, believed to be caused by electromagnetic pulses from intense lightning in the lower ionosphere. Elves last less than a second and can be as wide as 500 km (310 mi) in diameter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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elves in Culture

elves definition


Often small, mischievous creatures thought to have magical powers. Although some elves are friendly to humans, others are spiteful and destructive. Elves have long been a staple of folklore, from Germanic mythology to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in which the elves speak a special language called Elvish.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Related Abbreviations for elves

ELF

extremely low frequency
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Word Value for elves

8
10
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