el

1
[el]
|

noun

Informal. elevated railroad.

Origin of el

1
by shortening

el

2
[el]

noun

el

3
[el]

noun

the letter l.

ell

1

or el

[el]

noun

an extension usually at right angles to one end of a building.
something that is L-shaped.

Origin of ell

1
First recorded in 1765–75; a spelling of the letter name, or by shortening of elbow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for els

el

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Historical Examples of els


British Dictionary definitions for els

Els

noun

Ernie, full name Theodore Ernest Els . born 1969; South African golfer: won the British Open Championship (2002, 2012) and the US Open Championship (1994, 1997)

el

noun

US informal a shortened form of elevated railway or railroadSee elevated railway

ell

1

noun

an obsolete unit of length equal to approximately 45 inches

Word Origin for ell

Old English eln the forearm (the measure originally being from the elbow to the fingertips); related to Old High German elina, Latin ulna, Greek ōlenē

ell

2

noun

an extension to a building, usually at right angles and located at one end
a pipe fitting, pipe, or tube with a sharp right-angle bend

Word Origin for ell

C20: a spelling of L, indicating a right angle
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 els

el

n.

American English abbreviation of elevated railroad, first recorded 1906 in O. Henry.

ell

n.2

type of building extension, 1773, American English; so called for resemblance to the shape of the alphabet letter.

ell

n.1

"unit of measure of 45 inches," Old English eln, originally "forearm, length of the arm" (as a measure, anywhere from a foot and a half to two feet), from PIE *el- (1) "elbow, forearm" (cf. Greek olene "elbow," Latin ulna, Armenian uln "shoulder," Sanskrit anih "part of the leg above the knee," Lithuanian alkune "elbow").

The exact distance varied, depending on whose arm was used as the base and whether it was measured from the shoulder to the fingertip or the wrist: the Scottish ell was 37.2 inches, the Flemish 27 inches. Latin ulna also was a unit of linear measure, and cf. cubit.

Whereas shee tooke an inche of liberty before, tooke an ell afterwardes [Humfrey Gifford, "A Posie of Gilloflowers," 1580].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper