erlking

[ url-king ]
/ ˈɜrlˌkɪŋ /
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noun (in German and Scandinavian mythology)

a spirit or personified natural power that works mischief, especially to children.

Origin of erlking

1790–1800; < German Erlkönig alder (tree) king, J. G. von Herder's mistrans. of Danish ellerkonge, variant of elverkonge king of the elves
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British Dictionary definitions for erlking

erlking

/ (ˈɜːlˌkɪŋ) /

noun

German myth a malevolent spirit who carries children off to death

Word Origin for erlking

C18: from German Erlkönig, literally: alder king, coined in 1778 by Herder, a mistranslation of Danish ellerkonge king of the elves
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