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
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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.
In the heat of fever the boy implores his father to look for the Erlking's daughters.
But in the boy's brain the Erlking has already raised his enticing whisper.
Erlking has now completely filled the feverish fancy of the child.
British Dictionary definitions for erlking
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
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