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[el-vish] /ˈɛl vɪʃ/
Origin of elvish
Middle English word dating back to 1150-1200; See origin at elf, -ish1
Related forms
elvishly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for elvish
Historical Examples
  • It seemed odd to them that men had once worn so elvish an attire.

    The Napoleon of Notting Hill Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • His rhymes were always full of quaint and elvish humour which was very endearing.

    Kathleen Christopher Morley
  • The Provost of Notting Hill seemed to have fallen into a kind of trance; in his eyes was an elvish light.

    The Napoleon of Notting Hill Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • Gradually, while I was warming up, a sense of infinite comfort came, and with it the enjoyment of the elvish aspect.

    Over Prairie Trails Frederick Philip Grove
  • She nodded, leaning forward and looking up at me in a certain demure, elvish fashion.

  • Half-ashamed she went back to stolen meetings—in a barn—behind a rick—in the elvish shadow of some skew-blown thorn.

    Joanna Godden Sheila Kaye-Smith
  • The folio of 1623 omits elvish, but the folio of 1632 has elves, which Rowe changed to elvish.

    The Ornithology of Shakespeare James Edmund Harting
  • See elvish in the Glossary, and cf. 'this elvish nyce lore'; Can.

  • He could not bear the sight of her, perched on a chair in her white nightdress in the doorway, elvish and horrible.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • But we never heard any elvish arrow whistling after us, or saw any more of the uncouth folk.

    A King's Comrade Charles Whistler
British Dictionary definitions for elvish


a variant of elfish
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 elvish

c.1200, aluisc, "belonging to or pertaining to the elves; supernatural," from elf + -ish. Old English used ilfig in this sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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