[ ey-lahn, ey-lan; French ey-lahn ]
/ eɪˈlɑn, eɪˈlæn; French eɪˈlɑ̃ /


dash; impetuous ardor: to dance with great élan.

Origin of élan

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elan

British Dictionary definitions for elan


/ (eɪˈlɑːn, eɪˈlæn, French elɑ̃) /


a combination of style and vigourhe performed the concerto with élan

Word Origin for élan

C19: from French, from élancer to throw forth, ultimately from Latin lancea lance
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