- of or like an elf.
- small and charmingly spritely, merry, or mischievous.
- an elf.
Origin of elfin
1560–70; alteration of Middle English elven elf, Old English elfen, ælfen nymph, equivalent to ælf elf + -en feminine suffix (cognate with German -in); ælf cognate with German Alp nightmare, puck, Old Norse alfr elf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsdelicate, devilish, disobedient, elfish, frolicsome, impish, little, minute, naughty, petite, playful, puckish, puny, slight, sprightly, tiny, misbehaving, prankish, rascally
Examples from the Web for elfin
Mickey Rooney, the elfin actor who could pull out all the stops on stage and on film, died Sunday in Los Angeles at the age of 93.Mickey Rooney Was Hollywood’s Golden Age Showman
April 7, 2014
Before these famous cartoons went viral, Santa was depicted either as a tall, thin, and less than jolly fellow or an elfin man.8 Facts You Never Knew About Christmas
December 24, 2013
She forgot that her boy was of elfin as well as of mortal race.
It beat down the wheat and pattered like elfin bullets on the forest leaves.The Long Roll
"I kick for joy," she said, her eyes shining with elfin delight.A Daughter of the Middle Border
Then arose great revelry and feasting in the castle of the Elfin Queen.Stories from the Ballads
Why should the elfin's son be worse than the son of the devil himself?Theodoric the Goth
- of, relating to, or like an elf or elves
- small, delicate, and charming
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
Word Origin and History for elfin
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper