elflike; elfin; small and mischievous.

Also elvish.

Origin of elfish

First recorded in 1535–45; alteration of elvish
Related formself·ish·ly, adverbelf·ish·ness, noun

Synonyms for elfish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for elfish

elfin, impish, naughty, prankish

Examples from the Web for elfish

Historical Examples of elfish

  • Our elfish guides led us back along the trail to the farmhouse.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • She had the elfish look of a little withered fairy godmother.

    Robert Elsmere

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • Anger, surprise and chagrin swept the elfish face of the French girl.

    Marjorie Dean

    Pauline Lester

  • A pair of elfish black eyes were fixed upon her in curious intent.

    Marjorie Dean

    Pauline Lester

  • "I don't like you," he said slowly, regarding the Hun, with his elfish eyes.

    War and the Weird

    Forbes Phillips

British Dictionary definitions for elfish




of, relating to, or like an elf or elves; charmingly mischievous or sprightly; impish


the supposed language of elves
Derived Formselfishly or elvishly, adverbelfishness or elvishness, noun
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 elfish

c.1200, alvisc; see elf + -ish. Related: Elfishly; elfishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper