Definition for elves (2 of 3)
noun, plural elves [elvz] /ɛlvz/.
Origin of elf
Definition for elves (3 of 3)
Examples from the Web for elves
So the elves in the Woodland Realm were an obvious [choice].‘No Regrets’: Peter Jackson Says Goodbye to Middle-Earth|Alex Suskind|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The elves send Buddy off on an adventure to big, bad New York City to meet his family and start a new life.Elf’s 10th Anniversary: I’m Still Obsessed With This Syrupy Movie|Anna Brand|November 7, 2013|DAILY BEAST
One episode, for example, centered on a Christmas-themed “celebration,” complete with elves and reindeer.‘The Man With the 132 Lb. Scrotum’: TLC’s Lowest Show Yet?|Kevin Fallon|August 1, 2013|DAILY BEAST
That Santa told tellers he needed the money to “pay his elves.”Criminal Santas: Grapevine Murders, Bank Robberies, More (Photos)|Josh Dzieza|December 28, 2011|DAILY BEAST
When he had finished this task, he cleaned up the house and took possession of all the treasures the elves had left behind them.Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2|Charles Dudley Warner
If you take the trouble to inquire, you will find that all this forest is peopled with elves.Odd Bits of History|Henry W. Wolff
Higher up the stream, where two branches met about a rocky island, elves seemed gathering for a summer revel.Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Vol. 5|Louisa M. Alcott
Is it any wonder that the elves, the fairies, the children came and ministered unto him?The Golden Road|Frank Waller Allen
The elves of Iceland had a king who was subject to the superior elf-king in Norway.In Northern Mists (Volume 2 of 2)|Fridtjof Nansen
British Dictionary definitions for elves (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for elves (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for elves (3 of 3)
noun plural elves (ɛlvz)
Word Origin for elf
Word Origin and History for elves
"one of a race of powerful supernatural beings in Germanic folklore," Old English elf (Mercian, Kentish), ælf (Northumbrian), ylfe (plural, West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *albiz (cf. Old Saxon alf, Old Norse alfr, German alp "evil spirit, goblin, incubus"), origin unknown, possibly from PIE *albho- "white." Used figuratively for "mischievous person" from 1550s.
In addition to elf/ælf (masc.), Old English had parallel form *elfen (fem.), the plural of which was *elfenna, -elfen, from Proto-Germanic *albinjo-. Both words survived into Middle English and were active there, the former as elf (with the vowel of the plural), plural elves, the latter as elven, West Midlands dialect alven (plural elvene).
The Germanic elf originally was dwarfish and malicious (cf. Old English ælfadl "nightmare," ælfsogoða "hiccup," thought to be caused by elves); in the Middle Ages they were confused to some degree with faeries; the more noble version begins with Spenser. Nonetheless a popular component in Anglo-Saxon names, many of which survive as modern given names and surnames, cf. Ælfræd "Elf-counsel" (Alfred), Ælfwine "Elf-friend" (Alvin), Ælfric "Elf-ruler" (Eldridge), also women's names such as Ælfflæd "Elf-beauty." Elf Lock hair tangled, especially by Queen Mab, "which it was not fortunate to disentangle" [according to Robert Nares' glossary of Shakespeare] is from 1592.
Science definitions for elves
Culture definitions for elves
Often small, mischievous creatures thought to have magical powers. Although some elves are friendly to humans, others are spiteful and destructive. Elves have long been a staple of folklore, from Germanic mythology to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in which the elves speak a special language called Elvish.