Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

élan

[ey-lahn, ey-lan; French ey-lahn] /eɪˈlɑn, eɪˈlæn; French eɪˈlɑ̃/
noun
1.
dash; impetuous ardor:
to dance with great élan.
Origin of élan
1875-1880
1875-80; French, Middle French eslan a dash, rush, noun derivative of eslancer to dart, equivalent to es- ex-1 + lancer to lance1
Can be confused
éclat, élan.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for elan
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Besides, there isnt any dead body awaiting his elan on that ship or any ship.

    A Place in the Sun C.H. Thames
  • The course of the aqueduct from elan to Birmingham was marked by a thin red line.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • My friend Sarakoff and I introduced the germ that we discovered into the elan reservoirs.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • On the north lay the river elan and on the south the steep side of a mountain towered up against the luminous sky.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • elan was its characteristic—but it was hard to reduce to the stratified regularity of an army.

  • Daim is the French for deer, and cerf for stag; elan is the true term, when one would speak of an elk.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • It was not an ordinary movement, but an intense rush made with all the elan and vigour of hardy and highly-trained men.

British Dictionary definitions for elan

élan

/eɪˈlɑːn; eɪˈlæn; French elɑ̃/
noun
1.
a combination of style and vigour: he performed the concerto with élan
Word Origin
C19: from French, from élancer to throw forth, ultimately from Latin lancealance
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for elan
n.

1877, from French élan (16c.), "spring, bound, impetus," noun derived from élancer "to rush, dart," from Old French elancer, from e- "out" (see ex-) + lancer "to throw," originally "to throw a lance," from Late Latin lanceare, from Latin lancea (see lance (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for élan

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for elan

4
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for elan