erlking

[url-king]
noun (in German and Scandinavian mythology)
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for erlking

Historical Examples of erlking

  • Herr Schubert puffed and blew, and "The Erlking" pranced and thumped.

  • They found the composer all aglow, reading the “Erlking” aloud to himself.

  • But in the boy's brain the Erlking has already raised his enticing whisper.

    How to Sing

    Lilli Lehmann

  • In the heat of fever the boy implores his father to look for the Erlking's daughters.

    How to Sing

    Lilli Lehmann

  • Erlking has now completely filled the feverish fancy of the child.

    How to Sing

    Lilli Lehmann


British Dictionary definitions for erlking

erlking

noun
  1. 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