Both the port and the starboard lights were now to be seen, and this indicated that the sylph was coming towards him.
The Zephyr was rapidly approaching the sylph, as the sailboat was called.
From the ruse practised by the “sylph,” she was not seen by his lookouts till he was nearly close up to her.
Meg is always moaning and groaning because she isn't a sylph!
On this the sylph opened her fire, and soon sent them to the right about.
The sylph was bothered by the last movement of the Goldwing.
Dont give the sylph much rope; about four feet will do; we dont want to get it wound around the propeller.
He was likely to have a chance yet to use his skill and ingenuity in getting away from the sylph.
The sylph came about, with sails trembling, and lost headway.
It seemed to him not improbable that the sylph had abandoned the pursuit, and gone up the lake.
1650s, from Modern Latin sylphes (plural), coined 16c. by Paracelsus (1493-1541), originally referring to any race of spirits inhabiting the air, described as being mortal but lacking a soul. Paracelsus' word seems to be an arbitrary coinage, but perhaps it holds a suggestion of Latin sylva and Greek nymph. The meaning "slender, graceful girl" first recorded 1838, on the notion of "light, airy movements." Silphid (1670s) are the younger or smaller variety, from French sylphide (1670s).