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[el-fish] /ˈɛl fɪʃ/
elflike; elfin; small and mischievous.
Also, elvish.
Origin of elfish
First recorded in 1535-45; alteration of elvish
Related forms
elfishly, adverb
elfishness, noun
prankish, impish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for elfish
Historical Examples
  • Our elfish guides led us back along the trail to the farmhouse.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • She had the elfish look of a little withered fairy godmother.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Anger, surprise and chagrin swept the elfish face of the French girl.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • A pair of elfish black eyes were fixed upon her in curious intent.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • "I don't like you," he said slowly, regarding the Hun, with his elfish eyes.

    War and the Weird Forbes Phillips
  • Meanwhile the princess was not at all unhappy in the palace of her elfish lover.

    The Brown Fairy Book Andrew Lang
  • It was startlingly white, and in a strange, elfish kind of way, beautiful.

    The Banshee

    Elliot O'Donnell
  • She had been with him, smiling, elfish and tender one moment, and gone the next.

    The Black Opal

    Katharine Susannah Prichard
  • And as she spoke the elfish eyes gleamed strangely into his own.

    A Noble Name Claire Von Glmer
  • Her elfish eyes roved challengingly from one girl to the other.

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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