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elf
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
elf
noun
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Not that shit about elves, but what you just said, Carolyn.
▪ Now people I've spoken to who used it then never said anything about machine elves of hyperspace.
▪ Or Strauss requesting a chorus of elves?
▪ The elves put on the clothes, and then were never seen again.
▪ The aspect of humanity which the elves represent most fully - both for good and ill - is the creative one.
▪ They saw two elves, hard at work.
▪ Twoflower had always wanted to meet an elf.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Elf

Elves \Elves\, n.; pl. of Elf. [1913 Webster] Elvish \Elv"ish\, a.

  1. Pertaining to elves; implike; mischievous; weird; also, vacant; absent in demeanor. See Elfish.

    He seemeth elvish by his countenance.
    --Chaucer.

  2. Mysterious; also, foolish. [Obs.]

Elf

Elf \Elf\, v. t. To entangle mischievously, as an elf might do.

Elf all my hair in knots.
--Shak.

Elf

Elf \Elf\ ([e^]lf), n.; pl. Elves ([e^]lvz). [AS. [ae]lf, ylf; akin to MHG. alp, G. alp nightmare, incubus, Icel. [=a]lfr elf, Sw. alf, elfva; cf. Skr. [.r]bhu skillful, artful, rabh to grasp. Cf. Auf, Oaf.]

  1. An imaginary supernatural being, commonly a little sprite, much like a fairy; a mythological diminutive spirit, supposed to haunt hills and wild places, and generally represented as delighting in mischievous tricks.

    Every elf, and fairy sprite, Hop as light as bird from brier.
    --Shak.

  2. A very diminutive person; a dwarf.

    Elf arrow, a flint arrowhead; -- so called by the English rural folk who often find these objects of prehistoric make in the fields and formerly attributed them to fairies; -- called also elf bolt, elf dart, and elf shot.

    Elf child, a child supposed to be left by elves, in room of one they had stolen. See Changeling.

    Elf fire, the ignis fatuus.
    --Brewer.

    Elf owl (Zo["o]l.), a small owl ( Micrathene Whitneyi) of Southern California and Arizona.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
elf

"one of a race of powerful supernatural beings in Germanic folklore," Old English elf (Mercian, Kentish), ælf (Northumbrian), ylfe (plural, West Saxon) "sprite, fairy, goblin, incubus," from Proto-Germanic *albiz (cognates: Old Saxon alf, Old Norse alfr, German alp "evil spirit, goblin, incubus"), origin unknown; according to Watkins, possibly from PIE *albho- "white." Used figuratively for "mischievous person" from 1550s.\n

\nIn addition to elf/ælf (masc.), Old English had parallel form *elfen (fem.), the 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).\n

\nThe Germanic elf originally was dwarfish and malicious (compare elf-lock "knot in hair," 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, such as 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.

Wiktionary
elf

n. 1 (context Norse mythology English) A luminous spirit presiding over nature and fertility and dwelling in the world of Álfheim (Elfland). Compare angel, nymph, fairy. 2 Any from a race of mythical, supernatural beings resembling but seen as distinct from human beings. Usually skilled in magic or spellcrafting; sometimes depicted as clashing with dwarves, especially in modern fantasy literature. 3 (context fantasy English) Any of the magical, typically forest-guarding races bearing some similarities to the Norse álfar (through Tolkien's Eldar) 4 A very diminutive person; a dwarf.

WordNet
elf
  1. n. (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous [syn: hob, gremlin, pixie, pixy, brownie, imp]

  2. below 3 kilohertz [syn: extremely low frequency]

  3. [also: elves (pl)]

Wikipedia
Elf (disambiguation)

An elf is a mythological creature, originally from Germanic mythology.

Elf may also refer to:

  • Elf (Dungeons & Dragons)
  • Elves (Middle-earth)
  • Elves (Discworld)
  • Christmas elf
Elf (band)

Elf was an American rock band founded in 1967 by singer and bassist Ronnie James Dio, keyboardist Doug Thaler, drummer Gary Driscoll, and guitarists Nick Pantas and David Feinstein (Dio's cousin). The band was originally called The Electric Elves, but was shortened to The Elves in 1968 and finally Elf in 1972. Elf disbanded in 1975 after recording three albums and after most of the lineup had been absorbed into Ritchie Blackmore's new group, Rainbow.

Elf (yacht)

Elf is a racing yacht built in 1888 by George Lawley & Son of South Boston, Massachusetts, for William H. Wilkinson. She was designed by George F. Lawley and is the oldest small yacht in the United States. She is located at Fredericktown, Cecil County, Maryland.

She was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 1980.

Elf (Middle-earth)

In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth, often called Middle-earth, and set in the remote past. They appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more fully in The Silmarillion. Tolkien had been writing about Elves long before he published The Hobbit.

Elf

An elf (plural: elves) is a type of supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. Reconstructing the early concept of an elf depends almost entirely on texts in Old English or relating to Norse mythology. Later evidence for elves appears in diverse sources such as medical texts, prayers, ballads, and folktales.

Recent scholars have emphasised, in the words of Ármann Jakobsson, that

the time has come to resist reviewing information about álfar en masse and trying to impose generalizations on a tradition of a thousand years. Legends of álfar may have been constantly changing and were perhaps always heterogeneous so it might be argued that any particular source will only reflect the state of affairs at one given time.

However, some generalisations are possible. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves seem generally to have been thought of as a group of beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them. However, the precise character of beliefs in elves across the Germanic-speaking world has varied considerably across time, space, and different cultures. In Old Norse mythological texts, elves seem at least at times to be counted among the pagan gods; in medieval German texts they seem more consistently monstrous and harmful.

Elves are prominently associated with sexual threats, seducing people and causing them harm. For example, a number of early modern ballads in the British Isles and Scandinavia, originating in the medieval period, describe human encounters with elves.

In English literature of the Elizabethan era, elves became conflated with the fairies of Romance culture, so that the two terms began to be used interchangeably. German Romanticist writers were influenced by this notion of the 'elf', and reimported the English word elf in that context into the German language. In Scandinavia, probably through a process of euphemism, elves often came to be conflated with the beings called the huldra or huldufólk. Meanwhile, German folklore has tended to see the conflation of elves with dwarfs.

The " Christmas elves" of contemporary popular culture are of relatively recent tradition, popularized during the late nineteenth-century in the United States. Elves entered the twentieth-century high fantasy genre in the wake of works published by authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, for which, see Elf (Middle-earth).

Elf (film)

Elf is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. It stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Ed Asner, and Bob Newhart. It was released in the United States on November 7, 2003 by New Line Cinema. The story is about one of Santa's elves (Ferrell) who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father (Caan), spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics as he goes.

The film received positive reviews from critics and earned $220.4 million worldwide on a $33 million budget. It inspired the 2010 broadway musical Elf: The Musical and NBC's 2014 stop-motion animated television special Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas.

Elf (Dungeons & Dragons)

An elf, in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, is a humanoid race, one of the primary races available for player character. Elves are renowned for their grace and mastery of magic and weapons such as the sword and bow. Becoming physically mature by the age of 25 and emotionally mature at around 125, they are also famously long-lived, capable of living more than half a millennium and remaining physically youthful. Possessed of innate beauty and easy gracefulness, they are viewed as both wondrous and haughty by other races; however, their natural detachment is seen by some as introversion or xenophobia.

There are numerous different subraces and subcultures of elves, including aquatic elves, dark elves ( drow), deep elves (rockseer), grey elves, high elves, moon elves, snow elves, sun elves, valley elves, wild elves ( grugach), wood elves and winged elves ( avariel). The offspring of humans and elves are known as " half-elves" among humans, and as "half-humans" among elves.

Elf (album)

Elf is the first album by Ronnie James Dio's blues rock band called Elf. It was released in 1972. In this album, Dio is listed by his birth name Ronald Padavona. Though Dio had used "Padavona" for songwriting credits on earlier singles, Dio explained in an interview in 1994 that he used his birth name on this album as a tribute to his parents so that they could see their family name on an album at least once.

After this album, Steve Edwards replaced David Feinstein on guitar, and Craig Gruber took over bass duties, leaving Ronnie James Dio solely as the lead singer. This future lineup, minus Edwards, became the first incarnation of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow when guitarist Ritchie Blackmore formed it after leaving Deep Purple.

Usage examples of "elf".

They soon made introductions and Acies explained to the elf why they were in the mines.

If the Empire were to become truly organized, they would certainly put down the ogrilloi and the human bandits, and kill the dragons and trolls and griffins, possibly the elves and dwarves and all the other things that make Adventuring entertaining in the first place.

He had to guess, of course, which way agile Tallareyish would spin, and even though he guessed correctly that the elf would go to his right, his swipe was batted aside, not once but three times, before it ever got close to hitting the mark.

Fortunately, elves fill their rooms with furniture and vases and flowers and birdcages, so we were well-concealed, although I had to peer through the leaves of a palm and Alake was eye-to-eye with a singing phurah bird.

I had lived among humans and elves, but had never seen any human magic, and I was surprised when Alake invited us.

Shadamehr had been wounded in the palace, the elf thought that he could at last explain the cause of the Void taint that afflicted both Alise and Shadamehr.

Dobby had been killed by Ludo Bagman, the house elves of Hogwarts held their version of a funeral for him, as was the custom.

Walker Boh was thinking not so much of himsElf as of the Black Elf stone.

For herself she took also a light byrnie such as shield-mays among the elves were wont to use.

 The elf came forward with a walking stick, and Chyde stood erect, or as erect as he could.

When an elven patrol ship gave chase, the cloaked bionoid shrike ships would close in and drop either bionoid warriors or the tertiary marauders to wipe out the elves.

If the stolen cloaking device did not hide the shrike ship from the elves, their illegal cargo would not reach Armistice and their dream of revenge would die with them.

He remembered the murmuring of the elves soon before his departure, the whispers of a dactyl demon awakened in the north.

The elf sensed the presence of the demon dactyl as surely as the dactyl sensed him, felt the awfulness, the sheerest of evil, the coldest of deathly chill.

He found it damnably hard to blend that delightful creature with Milady Elf of the sharp wit and even sharper tongue.