Origin of sylph
Examples from the Web for sylph
What sylph would superintend the conveyance of this dust to the nostrils of a belle?
Meg is always moaning and groaning because she isn't a sylph!Stories of a Western Town|Octave Thanet
We are inside of Sister Islands, and the Sylph seems to be taking the same course.All Adrift|Oliver Optic
She was a Fairy, a Sylph, I don't know what she was—anything that no one ever saw, and everything that everybody ever wanted.David Copperfield|Charles Dickens
He sunk below the surface, went under the keel of the Sylph and came up on the other side.Under the Ocean to the South Pole|Roy Rockwood
British Dictionary definitions for sylph
Word Origin for sylph
Word Origin and History for sylph
1650s, from Modern Latin sylphes (plural), coined 16c. by Paracelsus (1493-1541), originally referring to any race of spirits inhabiting the air, described as being mortal but lacking a soul. Paracelsus' word seems to be an arbitrary coinage, but perhaps it holds a suggestion of Latin sylva and Greek nymph. The meaning "slender, graceful girl" first recorded 1838, on the notion of "light, airy movements." Silphid (1670s) are the younger or smaller variety, from French sylphide (1670s).