élan

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

noun

dash; impetuous ardor: to dance with great élan.

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
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Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

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

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH élan

éclat, élan
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for élan

British Dictionary definitions for élan

élan
/ (eɪˈlɑːn, eɪˈlæn, French elɑ̃) /

noun

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